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Playing board games, cognitive decline and dementia: a French population-based cohort study
  1. Jean François Dartigues1,
  2. Alexandra Foubert-Samier1,
  3. Mélanie Le Goff1,
  4. Mélanie Viltard2,
  5. Hélène Amieva1,
  6. Jean Marc Orgogozo1,
  7. Pascale Barberger-Gateau1,
  8. Catherine Helmer1
  1. 1INSERM U 897, Université Bordeaux Ségalen, Bordeaux cedex, France
  2. 2IEEP, Institute for European Expertise in Physiology, Paris, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jean François Dartigues; jfd{at}


Objectives To study the relationship between board game playing and risk of subsequent dementia in the Paquid cohort.

Design A prospective population-based study.

Setting In the Bordeaux area in South Western France.

Participants 3675 non-demented participants at baseline.

Primary outcome measure The risk of dementia during the 20 years of follow-up.

Results Among 3675 non-demented participants at baseline, 32.2% reported regular board game playing. Eight-hundred and forty participants developed dementia during the 20 years of follow-up. The risk of dementia was 15% lower in board game players than in non-players (HR=0.85, 95% CI 0.74 to 0.99; p=0.04) after adjustment on age, gender, education and other confounders. The statistical significance disappeared after supplementary adjustment on baseline mini-mental state examination (MMSE) and depression (HR=0.96, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.12; p=0.61). However, board game players had less decline in their MMSE score during the follow-up of the cohort (β=0.011, p=0.03) and less incident depression than non-players (HR=0.84; 95% CI 0.72 to 0.98; p<0.03).

Conclusions A possible beneficial effect of board game playing on the risk of dementia could be mediated by less cognitive decline and less depression in elderly board game players.

  • Epidemiology

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