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The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among peak exercise parameters on 6-min walk test, shuttle walk test, and laboratory-based cardiopulmonary exercise testing in persons with Alzheimer’s dementia. This study is a cross-sectional analysis of the baseline data of 90 participants (age 77.1 [6.6] years, 43% female) from the FIT-AD trial. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing produced significantly higher peak heart rate (118.6 [17.5] vs. 106 [22.8] vs. 106 [18.8] beats/min), rating of perceived exertion (16 [2.1] vs. 12 [2.3] vs. 11 [2.1]), and systolic blood pressure (182 [23.7] vs. 156 [18.9] vs. 150 [16.9] mmHg) compared with the shuttle walk test and 6-min walk test, respectively. Peak walking distance on shuttle walk test (241.3 [127.3] m) and 6-min walk test (365.0 [107.9] m) significantly correlated with peak oxygen consumption (17.1 [4.3] ml·kg−1·min−1) on cardiopulmonary exercise testing (r = .449, p ≤ .001 and r = .435, p ≤ .001), respectively, which is considerably lower than what is seen in older adults and persons with cardiopulmonary diseases.
The authors are with the School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.