Physical Activity, Including Walking, and Cognitive Function in Older Women

  • Weuve J
  • Jae S
  • Kang H
 et al. 
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Abstract

CONTEXT Physical activity may help maintain cognitive function in older adults. OBJECTIVE To examine the relation of long-term regular physical activity, including walking, to cognitive function. DESIGN Women reported participation in leisure-time physical activities on biennial mailed questionnaires beginning in 1986. We assessed long-term activity by averaging energy expenditures from questionnaires in 1986 through participants' baseline cognitive assessments (1995 to 2001). We used linear regression to estimate adjusted mean differences in baseline cognitive performance and cognitive decline over 2 years, across levels of physical activity and walking. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS Nurses' Health Study, including 18 766 US women aged 70 to 81 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE Validated telephone assessments of cognition administered twice approximately 2 years apart (1995 to 2001 and 1997 to 2003), including tests of general cognition, verbal memory, category fluency, and attention. RESULTS Higher levels of activity were associated with better cognitive performance. On a global score combining results of all 6 tests, women in the second through fifth quintiles of energy expenditure scored an average of 0.06, 0.06, 0.09, and 0.10 standard units higher than women in the lowest quintile (P for trend

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Authors

  • Jennifer Weuve

  • Scd Jae

  • Hee Kang

  • Joann E Manson

  • Monique M B Breteler

  • James H Ware

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