Association between Physical Fitness and Cognitive function in older community dwelling adults
Purposes: To determine if physical fitness is associated with cognitive function with aging and if cardiometabolic disorder mediates this association.
Method: A sample of 213 (77.9% female) community dwelling older adults (72.4 +/- 5.7 years) in a community-based health promotion program, completed Montreal Cognition Assessment (MoCA), Exercise Pre-participation Screening Questionnaire, and underwent the Senior Physical Fitness Testing. Multiple robust linear regressions were used to model the association between physical fitness (including cardiorespiratory, muscular, and agility fitness) and global cognition after adusted for age, sex, education, and body mass index. Mediator analysis assessed the effect of cardio-metabolic disorder on the associations between physical fitness and global cognition.
Resutls: Better global cognitive performance was associated with higher cardiorespiratory fitness in 2-min stepping testing (p=.004), muscular fitness in 30-sec sit to stand times (p<.001), 30-sec arm curl times (p<.001), and maximal grip force (p=.002), agility performance in 8-feet timed up and go (p<.001). But cardio-metabolic disorder (i.e., got any one of hypertensio, diabetes, cardiac diseases, etc.) mediated the relation between physical fitness and global cognition. In constrast to healthy elders, higher relationships between physical fitness and cognition were found in elders with one or more cardio-metabolic disorders.
Conclustion: This study revealed significant associations between higher levels of physical fitness (i.e., cardiorespiratoy, muscular, and agility) and better cognitive function in community dwelle elderly. Physical fitness relation to cognitive function may be mediated by the cardio-metabolic health.