Non-exercise estimated cardiorespiratory fitness: Associations with brain structure, cognition, and memory complaints in older adults

Edward McAuley, Amanda N. Szabo, Emily L. Mailey, Kirk I. Erickson, Michelle Voss, Siobhan M. White, Thomas R. Wójcicki, Neha Gothe, Erin A. Olson, Sean P. Mullen, Arthur F. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There is increasing evidence that cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is associated with brain structure and function, and improvements in CRF through exercise training have been associated with neural and cognitive functioning in older adults. The objectives of this study were to validate the use of a non-exercise estimate of CRF, and to examine its association with cognitive function, brain structure and subjective memory complaints. Low active, older adults (N = 86; Mage = 65.14) completed a physician-supervised maximal exercise test, a 1-mile timed walk, several measures of cognitive function, and a 3 T structural MRI. Fitness was also calculated from an equation derived by Jurca et al. (2005) based on age, sex, body mass index, resting heart rate, and self-reported physical activity level. Analyses indicated that all three measures of CRF were significantly correlated with one another. In addition, measures of cognitive function, hippocampus volume, and memory complaints were significantly correlated with each measure of fitness. These findings have implications for using a low-risk, low-cost, non-exercise estimate of CRF in determining fitness associations with brain structure and cognitive function in older adults. As such, this measure may have utility for larger population based studies. Further validation is required, as is determination of whether such relationships hold over the course of exercise interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalMental Health and Physical Activity
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

Keywords

  • Cognitive function
  • Equation-derived CRF
  • Hippocampus
  • Older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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