Dojack, Amanda; Schulte, Megahn; Meyers, Amos; Curry-McCoy, Tiana; Department of Kinesiology and Health Science; Department of Radiology; Holland, Angelia; Department of Kinesiology and Health Science; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      Cognitive function and cardiovascular health often decline with age. Purpose: The relationship between cognitive performance and cardiovascular health in older versus younger men and women was examined. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 13 younger(18-35years old)and 10 older (55-75 years old) individuals. Participants visited the lab fasted and the following occurred in order: informed consent and questionnaires filled out, blood pressure and resting heart rate recorded, triglyceride and cholesterol measured via a fingerprick, anthropometric measures recorded, cognitive performance assessed via tests from the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics, and a modified YMCA 3-minute step test assessed recovery heart rate. Results: No differences between male and female between six different cognitive tests. The older group demonstrated significantly greater scores on five of the six cognitive tests (P<0.01-0.05) and had a higher education level (P<0.001). The younger group had lower systolic (P<0.01) and diastolic (P<0.05) blood pressure while the older group demonstrated a lower resting heart rate (P<0.05). Females demonstrated a greater recovery heart rate (P<0.01) and total cholesterol (P<0.05) than males. There were no differences in age groups for BMI, fitness level, or glucose, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels. Conclusion: Higher education and fitness may negate age-related cognitive declines.