Physical inactivity in older adults with cognitive impairment without dementia: room for improvement.

TitlePhysical inactivity in older adults with cognitive impairment without dementia: room for improvement.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsMiller, MJ, Cenzer, I, Barnes, DE, Covinsky, KE
JournalAging Clinical and Experimental Research
ISSN Number1720-8319
Keywordscognitive impairment, Disability, Physical activity, Physical function

BACKGROUND: Persons with cognitive impairment without dementia are at high risk of adverse health outcomes. Tailored intervention targeting moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) may reduce these risks.

AIMS: To identify the prevalence and predictors of physical inactivity among older adults with cognitive impairment, no dementia (CIND); and estimate the proportion of inactive people with CIND who are capable of greater MVPA.

METHODS: We studied 1875 community dwelling participants (over age 65) with CIND in the Health and Retirement Study. Physical inactivity was defined as MVPA ≤ 1x/week. Associations of physical inactivity with sociodemographic, health, and physical function were examined using chi-square and modified Poisson regression. We considered physically inactive participants capable of greater MVPA if they reported MVPA at least 1-3x/month, no difficulty walking several blocks, or no difficulty climbing several flights of stairs.

RESULTS: Fifty-six percent of participants with CIND were physically inactive. Variables with the highest age, sex, and race/ethnicity adjusted risk ratio (ARR) for physical inactivity were self-rated health (poor [76.9%]vs. excellent [34.2%]; ARR [95% CI] 2.27 [1.56-3.30]), difficulty walking (across the room [86.5%] vs. none [40.5%]; ARR [95% CI] 2.09 [1.87-2.35]), total assets (lowest quartile [62.6%] vs. highest quartile [43.1%]; ARR [95% CI] 1.54 [1.29-1.83]), and lower education attainment (less than high school [59.6%] vs college graduate [42.8%]; ARR [95% CI] 1.46 [1.17-1.83]). Among physically inactive older adults with CIND, 61% were estimated to be capable of greater MVPA.

CONCLUSIONS: Although physical inactivity is prevalent among older adults with CIND, many are capable of greater MVPA. Developing tailored physical activity interventions for this vulnerable population may improve cognitive, health, and quality of life outcomes.

Citation Key11947
PubMed ID34674188
PubMed Central IDPMC9021326
Grant List5T32 AG000212-27 / / national institutes of health /
P01 AG066605 / / national institutes of health /
P30 AG044281 / / national institutes of health /