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Association of leisure-time physical activity with cognition by apolipoprotein-E genotype in persons aged 60 years and over: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES-III)

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Author(s): Obisesan TO | Umar N | Paluvoi N | Gillum RF

Journal: Clinical Interventions in Aging
ISSN 1176-9092

Volume: 2012;
Issue: default;
Start page: 35;
Date: 2012;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Thomas O Obisesan, Nisser Umar, Nivedh Paluvoi, Richard F GillumDivision of Geriatrics, Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC, USAObjective: To test the hypothesis that aerobic-related leisure-time physical activity (PA) is associated with better cognitive function and that the effect varies among apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype groups.Design: Cross-sectional study of persons examined in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES-III; 1988–1994).Setting: US noninstitutionalized population.Participants and methods: From a sample of 7159, aged ≥60 years, we analyzed data for 1799 older American men and women who had information on PA, a short mental status examination (SMSE), and were genotyped at the apolipoprotein E gene locus.Results: In the initial bivariate analysis, non-ε4 carriers and ε4-heterozygotes performed better than ε4-homozygotes in the 60–69 age group. After controlling for multiple confounders including mobility limitation, PA correlated with a higher SMSE score in non-ε4 carriers (P = 0.014), but not in ε4 carriers (P = 0.887). At ≥70 years, PA also correlated with higher adjusted SMSE scores in non- ε4 carriers (P = 0.02); but this association became nonsignificant after controlling for mobility limitation (P = 0.12).Conclusion: In a nationally representative sample, PA was associated with enhanced cognition, an effect that was differentially influenced by apolipoprotein E genotype. Experimental studies are needed to determine whether or not PA can attenuate cognitive decline.Keywords: cognition, physical activity, apolipoprotein E gene, aging

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