Midlife exercise blood pressure, heart rate, and fitness relate to brain volume 2 decades later

Nicole L. Spartano, Jayandra J. Himali, Alexa S. Beiser, Gregory D. Lewis, Charles DeCarli, Ramachandran S. Vasan, Sudha Seshadri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether poor cardiovascular (CV) fitness and exaggerated exercise blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were associated with worse brain morphology in later life. Methods: Framingham Offspring participants (n 1,094, 53.9% female) free from dementia and CV disease (CVD) underwent an exercise treadmill test at a mean age of 40 ± 9 years. A second treadmill test and MRI scans of the brain were administered 2 decades later at mean age of 58 ± 8 years. Results: Poor CV fitness and greater diastolic BP and HR response to exercise at baseline were associated with a smaller total cerebral brain volume (TCBV) almost 2 decades later (all p < 0.05) in multivariable adjusted models; the effect of 1 SD lower fitness was equivalent to approximately 1 additional year of brain aging in individuals free of CVD. In participants with prehypertension or hypertension at baseline, exercise systolic BP was also associated with smaller TCBV (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Our results suggest that lower CV fitness and exaggerated exercise BP and HR responses in middle-aged adults are associated with smaller brain volume nearly 2 decades later. Promotion of midlife CV fitness may be an important step towards ensuring healthy brain aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1313-1319
Number of pages7
JournalNeurology
Volume86
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 5 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Clinical Neurology

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    Spartano, N. L., Himali, J. J., Beiser, A. S., Lewis, G. D., DeCarli, C., Vasan, R. S., & Seshadri, S. (2016). Midlife exercise blood pressure, heart rate, and fitness relate to brain volume 2 decades later. Neurology, 86(14), 1313-1319. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000002415