Vigorous Physical Activity May Preserve Cognitive Function in High-Risk HTN

High versus low VPA linked to lower risk of MCI, probable dementia, MCI/probable dementia in multivariate model
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

MONDAY, June 24, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- For high-risk patients with hypertension, vigorous physical activity (VPA) may preserve cognitive function, according to a study published online June 6 in Alzheimer's & Dementia.

Richard Kazibwe, M.D., from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and colleagues categorized the baseline self-reported frequency of VPA into low and high (less than one and at least one session/week, respectively) and examined the association between VPA categories with incident mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and probable dementia events among individuals with high-risk hypertension.

The researchers found that low event rates per 1,000 person-years were seen for MCI (13.9 versus 19.7), probable dementia (6.3 versus 9.0), and MCI/probable dementia (18.5 versus 25.8) for participants in the high versus the low VPA category. High versus low VPA was associated with lower risk of MCI, probable dementia, and MCI/probable dementia in the multivariable Cox regression model (hazard ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 0.81 [0.68 to 0.97], 0.80 [0.63 to 1.03], and 0.82 [0.70 to 0.96], respectively).

"We know that physical exercise offers many benefits, including lowering blood pressure, improving heart health, and potentially delaying cognitive decline," Kazibwe said in a statement. "However, the amount and the intensity of exercise needed to preserve cognition is unknown."

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