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Andrew A. Pellett, Leann Myers, Michael Welsch, S. Michal Jazwinski and David A. Welsh

Diastolic dysfunction, often seen with increasing age, is associated with reduced exercise capacity and increased mortality. Mortality rates in older individuals are linked to the development of disability, which may be preceded by functional limitations. The goal of this study was to identify which echocardiographic measures of diastolic function correlate with physical function in older subjects. A total of 36 men and women from the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study, age 62–101 yr, received a complete echocardiographic exam and performed the 10-item continuous-scale physical-functional performance test (CS-PFP-10). After adjustment for age and gender, left atrial volume index (ρ = –0.59; p = .0005) correlated with the total CS-PFP-10 score. Increased left atrial volume index may be a marker of impaired performance of activities of daily living in older individuals.

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Samuel G. Wittekind, Nicholas M. Edwards, Philip R. Khoury, Connie E. McCoy, Lawrence M. Dolan, Thomas R. Kimball and Elaine M. Urbina

Background: We aimed to (1) compare a subjective and objective measure of habitual physical activity (PA), (2) determine the association of PA and cardiovascular risk factors, and (3) test the hypothesis that PA is an independent determinant of target organ damage in youth. Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of youth with and without type 2 diabetes [mean age = 22 (3.9) y]. PA was measured with International Physical Activity Questionnaire and Actical accelerometer. Target organ damage was assessed with echocardiography and peripheral arterial testing. Subjects were stratified into tertiles of total PA, and differences were tested by analysis of variance and χ2 tests. General linear models tested for independent associations. Results: The correlation between International Physical Activity Questionnaire and accelerometry was weak (r = .23, P = .0003). Less active subjects had worse cardiovascular risk profiles and target organ damage, including stiffer arteries (P < .01). These outcome differences did not reach statistical significance when adjusted for covariates, such as lipid levels and glycemic control. Conclusion: Survey assessment of PA is complicated by inaccurate reporting. There is a strong association of habitual PA with cardiovascular risk factor clustering. PA may exert its beneficial effect on arterial stiffness in obese youth through improved glycemic control.