TitleA socially-engaged lifestyle moderates the association between gait velocity and cognitive impairment.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsGorenko, JA, Smith, AP, Hundza, SR, Halliday, DWR, DeCarlo, CA, Sheets, DJ, Stawski, RS, MacDonald, SWS
JournalAging Ment Health
Date Published01/2020

Cognitive status has been linked to impaired gait velocity, and diminished social and physical engagement. To date, the potential moderating influence of lifestyle engagement on gait-cognitive status associations has not been systematically explored. The present investigation examines whether a socially- or physically-engaged lifestyle moderates the association between diminished gait velocity and likelihood of amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a-MCI) classification. Participants (aged 65+, =73 years) were classified as either healthy controls ( = 30) or a-MCI ( = 24), using neuropsychological test scores and clinical judgement. Gait velocity was indexed using a GAITRite computerized walkway, engaged lifestyle (social and physical subdomains) were measured using a well-validated self-report measure, the revised Activity Lifestyle Questionnaire. Logistic regression, evaluating likelihood of a-MCI classification, yielded a significant interaction between a socially-engaged lifestyle and gait velocity (=.01, =.003, =.015). Follow-up simple effects were derived for two levels (+/-1SD) of social engagement; for individuals 1 SD below the mean, the association between gait velocity and increased likelihood of a-MCI classification was exacerbated (probability of a-MCI classification for those with slower gait velocity was 60% higher for individuals 1 SD below vs 1 SD above the mean of social engagement). Physically-engaged lifestyle did not significantly moderate the gait-cognitive status association. The significant moderating influence of social engagement has several implications, including the likelihood that distinct mechanisms underlie the relationships of social engagement and gait velocity to cognitive function, the value of social variables for well-being, and the potential utility of socially-based interventions that may prevent/delay a-MCI onset.

Alternate JournalAging Ment Health
PubMed ID31920094