An evaluation of the longitudinal, bidirectional associations between gait speed and cognition in older women and men

John R. Best, Teresa Liu-Ambrose, Robert M. Boudreau, Hilsa N. Ayonayon, Suzanne Satterfield, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Stephanie Studenski, Kristine Yaffe, Anne B. Newman, Caterina Rosano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Few cohort studies have examined longitudinal associations between age-related changes in cognition and physical performance. Further, whether these associations differ for men versus women or can be attributed to differences in physical activity (PA) is unknown. Methods: Participants were 2,876 initially well-functioning community-dwelling older adults (aged 70-79 years at baseline; 52% female; 39% black) studied over a 9-year period. Usual gait speed, self-reported PA, and two cognitive measures-Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST) and Mini-Modified Mental State examination (3MS)-were assessed years 0 (ie, baseline), 4, and 9. Results: Early decline between years 0 and 4 in gait speed predicted later decline between years 4 and 9 in performance on the 3MS (? = 0.10, p = .004) and on the DSST (? = 0.16, p < .001). In contrast, the associations between early decline in cognition and later decline in gait speed were weaker and were non-significant after correcting for multiple comparisons (? = 0.08, p = .019 for 3MS and ? = .06, p = .051 for DSST). All associations were similar for women and men and were unaltered when accounting for PA levels. Conclusions: The results indicate declining gait speed as a precursor to declining cognitive functioning, and suggest a weaker reciprocal process among older women and men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1616-1623
Number of pages8
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume71
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Gait
  • Physical activity
  • Physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'An evaluation of the longitudinal, bidirectional associations between gait speed and cognition in older women and men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this