Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2015) 14, 740 - 746

Research article
Physical Fitness and Serum Vitamin D and Cognition in Elderly Koreans
Jeong-Deok Ahn1, Hyunsik Kang2, 
Author Information
1 Department of Physical Education, Pusan National University, Pusan, Republic of Korea
2 College of Sport Science, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Republic of Korea

Hyunsik Kang
✉ College of Sport Science, Sungkyunkwan University, 2066 Sebu-Ro, Jangan-Gu, Suwon, Gyeonggi-Do 440-746, Republic of Korea
Email: hkang@skku.edu
Publish Date
Received: 01-05-2015
Accepted: 13-08-2015
Published (online): 24-11-2015
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ABSTRACT

Poor physical fitness and low serum vitamin D are known to be modifiable risk factors for cognitive declines with normal aging. We investigated the association of physical fitness and serum vitamin D levels with global cognitive function in older adults. In this cross-sectional study, a total of 412 older Korean adults (108 men aged 74.4 ± 6.0 years and 304 women aged 73.1 ± 5.4 years) completed the Korean version of Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) to assess global cognitive performance and the senior fitness test to assess strength, flexibility, agility, and endurance domains of physical fitness. Body mass index, percent body fat, serum vitamin D, geriatric depression scale (GDS), level of education, smoking, and history of cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease were also assessed as covariates. Age, sex, GDS, and body fatness were negatively associated with MMSE-based cognitive performance. Serum vitamin D and physical fitness were positively associated with MMSE-based cognitive performance. Multivariate linear regression showed that agility (partial R2 = -0.184, p = 0.029) and endurance (partial R2 = 0.191, p = 0.022) domains of physical fitness along with serum vitamin D (partial R2 = 0.210, p = 0.012) were significant predictors for global cognitive performance after controlling for covariates (i.e., age, sex, education, GDS, body fatness, and comorbidity index). The current findings of the study suggest that promotion of physical fitness and vitamin D supplementation should be key components of interventions to prevent cognitive decline with normal aging.

Key words: Cognitive function, geriatrics, physical fitness, vitamin D


           Key Points
  • Cognitive declines are associated with normal aging as well as modifiable lifestyle risk factors, and there is an increasing need to identify the modifiable risk factors for the onset of cognitive declines and to provide evidence-based strategies for healthy and successful aging.
  • In Korea, little is known about the relationships of physical fitness and serum vitamin D with cognitive function in older adults, and we determined the associations between a) serum vitamin D levels and cognitive function and b) physical fitness and cognitive function among community-dwelling elderly Koreans.
  • The current findings of the study suggest that agility and endurance domains of physical fitness along with serum vitamin D were significant predictors for global cognitive performance after controlling for covariates.
 
 
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