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 Marie 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 - 2016
Externally publishedYes

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Cognition
Exercise
Independent Living
Cohort Studies
Walking Speed

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Gait
  • Physical activity
  • Physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

An evaluation of the longitudinal, bidirectional associations between gait speed and cognition in older women and men. / Best, John R.; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa; Boudreau, Robert M.; Ayonayon, Hilsa N.; Satterfield, Suzanne; Simonsick, Eleanor Marie; Studenski, Stephanie; Yaffe, Kristine; Newman, Anne B.; Rosano, Caterina.

In: Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, Vol. 71, No. 12, 2016, p. 1616-1623.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Best, John R. ; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa ; Boudreau, Robert M. ; Ayonayon, Hilsa N. ; Satterfield, Suzanne ; Simonsick, Eleanor Marie ; Studenski, Stephanie ; Yaffe, Kristine ; Newman, Anne B. ; Rosano, Caterina. / An evaluation of the longitudinal, bidirectional associations between gait speed and cognition in older women and men. In: Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. 2016 ; Vol. 71, No. 12. pp. 1616-1623.
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