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Neurology DOI:10.1212/WNL.0000000000002415

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

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSpartano, NL, Himali, JJ, Beiser, AS, Lewis, GD, DeCarli, C, Vasan, RS, Seshadri, S
Date Published2016 Apr 05
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Blood Pressure, Cerebrum, Exercise, Exercise Test, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Heart Rate, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Physical Fitness

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

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.


Alternate JournalNeurology
PubMed ID26865519
PubMed Central IDPMC4826343
Grant ListR01 NS017950 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
R01 HL131029 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01-AG008122 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG042292 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01-NS017950 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
T32-HL07224 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01-AG047645 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30 AG010129 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States