Examination of a Composite Walking Measure on Cognitive Functioning Among Participants in the Chicago Health and Aging Project

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Pankaja Desai
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Shannon Halloway
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Klodian Dhana
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Yanyu Zhang
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Thomas Holland
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Puja Agarwal
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Christopher N. Ford
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Carlos Mendes de Leon
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Denis A. Evans
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Martha C. Morris
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This study examined the relationship between walking and cognitive function among Chicago Health and Aging Project participants. Data collection occurred during six 3-year cycles, of which Cycles 4–6 were used for this specific analysis. Information was obtained regarding walking frequency and duration, demographics, chronic conditions, cognitive activities, apolipoprotein E4, physical function, and cognitive function (global and domains). A composite walking measure was developed and categorized as follows: no walking, ≤105 min/week, and >105 min/week. Mixed-effects regression analyses tested associations between walking and global cognitive function, episodic memory, and perceptual speed. The sample consisted of 4,320 participants (African American/Black: 65%; female: 65%; mean education: 13 years; mean age: 75 years). Composite or total walking had a statistically significant association with global cognitive function and perceptual speed, after adjustments were made.

Desai, Halloway, Dhana, Zhang, Holland, Agarwal, Ford, Evans, and Morris are with the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA. Mendes de Leon is with the Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Desai (pankaja_desai@rush.edu) is corresponding author.
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