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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


GRACIA REBLED, Ana Cristina et al. Occupation and Risk of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in People in over 55 Years: A Systematic Review, Spain. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2016, vol.90, e50001.  Epub June 07, 2021. ISSN 2173-9110.


Cognitive impairment and dementia are two problems with high prevalence in the elderly population. It is important to identify potentially modifiable risk factors that are associated with them. The occupation developed throughout life could be a risk factor in dementia. The objective was to analyze the association between the principal occupation developed along life and cognitive impairment or dementia in old people.


A systematic review of scientific publications dated between 1990 and March 2014 to find studies analyzing the relationship between occupation and cognitive impairment assessed by the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE). Databases such as ISI Web of Knowledge, PubMed and others, were reviewed. Criteria for inclusion: articles published between 1990 and March 2014, using the MMSE to assess cognitive performance, population over 55 years old, including occupation as study variable as well as cognitive impairment or dementia, written in Spanish, English or French.


18 articles were selected to review. Five cross-sectional and six longitudinal studies analyzed the association between occupation and cognitive impairment; two cross-sectional and eight longitudinal studies analyzed the association between dementia and occupation. 67% identified a relationship between the type of work and cognitive performance in adulthood.


Those who have a predominantly manual occupation throughout life, have an increased risk of cognitive impairment and/or dementia than those with occupations with higher intellectual requirement.

Keywords : Adults; Occupations; Mild Cognitive Impairment; Dementia; Alzheimer Disease; Risk factors; Mental health; Occupational health; Review literature as topic.

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