Background The Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) is an inexpensive, reliable, and easy-to-implement measure of lower-extremity physical function. Strong evidence links SPPB scores with all-cause mortality, but little is known about its relationship with incident cardiovascular disease (CVD). Methods and Results Women (n=5043, mean age=79±7) with no history of myocardial infarction or stroke completed 3 timed assessments-standing balance, strength (5 chair stands), and usual gait speed (4 m walk)-yielding an SPPB score from 0 (worst) to 12 (best). Women were followed for CVD events (myocardial infarction, stroke, or CVD death) up to 6 years. Hazard ratios were estimated for women with (0-3), (4-6), (7-9), and (10-12) SPPB scores using Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for demographic, behavioral, and health-related variables including objective measurements of physical activity, blood pressure, lipids, and glucose levels. Restricted cubic splines tested linearity of associations. With 361 CVD cases, crude incidence rates/1000 person-years were 41.0, 24.3, 16.1, and 8.6 for , , and SPPB categories, respectively. Corresponding fully adjusted hazard ratios (95% CIs) were 2.28 (1.50-3.48), 1.70 (1.23-2.36) 1.49 (1.12-1.98), and 1.00 (referent); -trend <0.001. The dose-response relationship was linear (linear 0.38). Conclusions Results suggest SPPB may provide a measure of cardiovascular health in older adults beyond that captured by traditional risk factors. Because of its high test-retest reliability and low administrative burden, the SPPB should be a routine part of office-based CVD risk assessment.

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