Fitness Predicts Cognitive Performance in Urban Latin Americans
Garnier Villareal, Mauricio
Salazar Villanea, Mónica
Montenegro Montenegro, Esteban
Vidoni, Eric D.
Johnson, David K.
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Background: A recent clinical trial by the KU ADC indicated that increasing fitness predicted better cognition in active healthy older adults. Maximizing an individual’s cardiorespiratory fitness was the most important therapeutic target for achieving cognitive benefit. We use data from a satellite project in San Jose Costa Rica to examine the role of fitness on cognitive performance in urban dwelling Latin Americans. Low and middle income nations will experience an unprecedented growth of the elderly population and subsequent increase in age-related neurological disorders that requires effective strategies for promoting healthy brain aging and the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Methods: By extending our standardized cognitive and physical fitness assessment batteries to a satellite site in Latin America, we implemented a comprehensive and empirically rigorous measurement strategy for the assessment of the environmental versus organismic determinants of healthy aging and dementia in Latin Americans. Primary cognitive outcomes were latent residual scores derived from a 16 subtest neuropsychological battery: Verbal Memory, Visuospatial Processing, Simple Attention, Set Maintenance and Shifting, and Reasoning. Physical fitness outcomes included the 6-minute walk time, a proxy of cardiorespiratory fitness and measures of function and disability. Results: Higher fitness (faster walk times) was significantly correlated with better Simple Attention and Visuospatial Processing abilities. Smoking history significantly attenuated the relationships observed among these variables. Conclusions: Consistent with a recent clinical trial completed by the KU ADC, healthy Costa Rican older adults who were more fit also had better visuospatial processing ability and better simple attention. Future clinical trials of exercise and exercise interventions should consider the moderating effect of cardiovascular fitness, smoking status, and potentially of other lifestyle variables to optimize the effects of exercise on cognition.
Asociado a Proyecto 723-B3-339 (FUNDEVI # 2791-01). Edad, Fase 1: envejecimiento saludable en zonas urbanas y rurales. (EDAD, Phase 1: Healthy Aging in Urban and Rural Areas. EDAD "The Epidemiology and Development of Alzheimer´s Disease)". NIH –Fogarty Grant Number: 1R21TW009665 – 01. Fogarty International Center (FIC), National Institute of Health (NIH). Universidad de Kansas-Universidad de Costa Rica
- Psicología