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We determined whether sensorimotor peripheral nerve (PN) function was associated with physical activity (PA) in older men. The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study Pittsburgh, PA, site (n = 328, age 78.8 ± 4.7 years) conducted PN testing, including: peroneal motor and sural sensory nerve conduction (latencies, amplitudes: CMAP and SNAP for motor and sensory amplitude, respectively), 1.4g/10g monofilament (dorsum of the great toe), and neuropathy symptoms. ANOVA and multivariate linear regression modeled PN associations with PA (Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly [PASE] and SenseWear Armband). After multivariable adjustment, better motor latency was associated with higher PASE scores (160.5 ± 4.8 vs. 135.6 ± 6.7, p < .01). Those without versus with neuropathy symptoms had higher PASE scores (157.6 ± 5.3 vs. 132.9 ± 7.1, p < .01). Better versus worse SNAP was associated with slightly more daily vigorous activity (9.5 ± 0.8 vs. 7.3 ± 0.7, p = .05). Other PN measures were not associated with PA. Certain PN measures were associated with lower PA, suggesting a potential pathway for disability.

Lange-Maia, Cauley, Newman, Boudreau, Glynn, and Strotmeyer are with the Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Jakicic is with the Department of Health and Physical Activity, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Zivkovic is with the Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Dam is with the Department of Medicine, Columbia University, New York, NY. Caserotti is with the Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark. Cawthon is with the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, San Francisco, CA. Orwoll is with the Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR.

Address author correspondence to Elsa S. Strotmeyer at StrotmeyerE@edc.pitt.edu.