Relationship between sensorimotor peripheral nerve function and indicators of cardiovascular autonomic function in older adults from the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study

Brittney S. Lange-Maia, Anne B. Newman, John M. Jakicic, Jane A. Cauley, Robert M. Boudreau, Ann V. Schwartz, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Suzanne Satterfield, Aaron I. Vinik, Sasa Zivkovic, Tamara B. Harris, Elsa S. Strotmeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background Age-related peripheral nervous system (PNS) impairments are highly prevalent in older adults. Although sensorimotor and cardiovascular autonomic function have been shown to be related in persons with diabetes, the nature of the relationship in general community-dwelling older adult populations is unknown. Methods Health, Aging and Body Composition participants (n = 2399, age = 76.5 ± 2.9 years, 52% women, 38% black) underwent peripheral nerve testing at the 2000/01 clinic visit. Nerve conduction amplitude and velocity were measured at the peroneal motor nerve. Sensory nerve function was assessed with vibration detection threshold and monofilament (1.4-g/10-g) testing at the big toe. Symptoms of lower-extremity peripheral neuropathy were collected by self-report. Cardiovascular autonomic function indicators included postural hypotension, resting heart rate (HR), as well as HR response to and recovery from submaximal exercise testing (400 m walk). Multivariable modeling adjusted for demographic/lifestyle factors, medication use and comorbid conditions. Results In fully adjusted models, poor motor nerve conduction velocity (< 40 m/s) was associated with greater odds of postural hypotension, (OR = 1.6, 95% CI: 1.0–2.5), while poor motor amplitude (< 1 mV) was associated with 2.3 beats/min (p = 0.003) higher resting HR. No associations were observed between sensory nerve function or symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and indicators of cardiovascular autonomic function. Conclusions Motor nerve function and indicators of cardiovascular autonomic function remained significantly related even after considering many potentially shared risk factors. Future studies should investigate common underlying processes for developing multiple PNS impairments in older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Volume96
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Older adults
  • Peripheral nerves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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