MONDAY, Feb. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is inversely associated with the risk for incident Alzheimer disease and related disorders (ADRD), according to a study scheduled for presentation at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, to be held from April 2 to 7 in Seattle.
Edward Zamrini, M.D., of the Washington VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C., used an exercise treadmill test (ETT) to assess levels of CRF and examined the associations of CRF with incident AD and ADRD. A total of 649,605 veterans aged 30 to 95 years of age who completed standardized ETT between 2000 and 2017 and were free from ADRD at the time of ETT were identified. Five age-specific fitness categories were formed based on peak metabolic equivalents (METs) during first ETT: lowest-fit (METs, ±3.8), low-fit (METs, ±5.8), moderate-fit (METs, ±7.5), fit (METs, ±9.2), and highest-fit (METs, ±11.7).
The researchers found that for the lowest- to highest-fit groups, the unadjusted incident rates for ADRD were 9.5, 8.5, 7.4, 7.2, and 6.4 per 1,000 person-years, respectively. Compared with the lowest-fit group, the multivariable adjusted hazard ratios for incident ADRD were 0.87, 0.80, 0.74, and 0.67 in association with the low-, moderate-, high-, and highest-fit groups, respectively.
“One exciting finding of this study is that as people’s fitness improved, their risk of Alzheimer’s disease decreased — it was not an all-or-nothing proposition,” Zamrini said in a statement. “So people can work toward making incremental changes and improvements in their physical fitness and hopefully that will be associated with a related decrease in their risk of Alzheimer’s years later.”
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