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Physical functioning is associated with processing speed and executive functions in community-dwelling older adults

Physical functioning is associated with processing speed and executive functions in community-dwelling older adults

Journals of Gerontology. Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 69(6): 837-844

The aim of this study was to examine the association between physical functioning and cardiovascular burden on the cognitive performance of community-dwelling older adults. Ninety-three adults aged 60 and older completed a medical evaluation by a geriatrician, performance-based physical tests, and neuropsychological assessments. Cognitive composite scores (memory, speed, and executive) as well as a physical functioning score were created by averaging standardized z-scores of selected tests. A cardiovascular burden index was also computed by totalling the number of cardiovascular risk factors and diseases. Multiple hierarchical regression analyses reveal that higher level of physical functioning was significantly associated with greater processing speed and better executive functions but was not associated with memory performance. These relations were independent of age, sex, and level of education. Cardiovascular burden was not significantly associated with any cognitive domain. These results suggest that cognition is related to simple performance-based physical tests and highlight the importance of intervention studies aimed at enhancing cognitive and physical functioning in older adults.

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Accession: 054995280

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PMID: 24829304

DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gbu036

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