Abstract MP81: Habitual Physical Activity And Arterial Stiffness In Older Adults: The Atherosclerosis Risk In Community (ARIC) Study
Introduction: Arterial stiffness increases with advancing age and is associated positively with coronary artery disease, stroke, dementia, and death. Regular physical activity appears to attenuate or even reverse age-related arterial stiffening. Yet, it is not clear if the reduced stiffening associated with habitual physical activity is also observed in community-dwelling older adults.
Methods: We analyzed pulse wave velocity (PWV) data from 4,294 participants (mean age: 75 years, 42% male, 19% African-American) in the 5th clinic examination of the ARIC cohort conducted in 2011-13. Out of 6538 participants who completed the examination, we included all who had proper consent, PWV data, BMI<40 kg/m2, and non-missing outcomes and covariates. Sports and leisure physical activity indices were calculated using the Baecke physical activity questionnaire modified for the ARIC Study. The Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) was calculated by summing scores on repeated chair stands, balance, and 4m walk tests. Arterial stiffness was measured using the average of two measurements of carotid-femoral then brachial-ankle pulse wave velocities (cfPWV and baPWV). Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses examined the relationships between arterial stiffness and physical activity.
Results: Both sports and leisure physical activity scores were significantly and inversely associated with cfPWV (Pearson r = -0.126 and -0.091; both P<0.0001). The associations remained highly significant after adjustments for age, gender, race, BMI, diabetes, hypertension, and smoking status (Pearson partial r = -0.099 and -0.058; both P<0.0001). Similarly, the SPPB was inversely related to cfPWV (Pearson r = -0.155; P<0.0001). After adjusting for covariates, the relation remained highly significant (Pearson partial r = -0.082; P<0.0001). In contrast, the associations between baPWV and physical activity indices were only borderline significant (Pearson r = -0.03 for both; P=0.048 and 0.051). Association of baPWV with SPPB score was significant in univariate analysis (Pearson r = 0.04;, P =0.0082), but was attenuated after adjustment for covariates (Pearson partial r=-0.005, P=0.7348).
Conclusions: Greater participation in sports and leisure physical activity and greater physical performance are associated with lower central arterial stiffness in a large population-based sample of community-dwelling older adults.
Author Disclosures: H. Tanaka: None. N. Gouskova: None. A.R. Folsom: None. K. Evenson: None. G. Windham: None. D. Aguilar: None. K. Matsushita: None. G. Heiss: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.