Korean J Sports Med.  2021 Jun;39(2):51-59. 10.5763/kjsm.2021.39.2.51.

Association of Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Physical Fitness with Cognitive Impairment in Korean Elderly Women

  • 1College of Sport Science, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Korea


This study aimed to investigate the effect of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and physical fitness on cognitive impairment in Korean elderly women.
In a cross-sectional design, a total of 308 Korean elderly women, aged 60 years or older, participated in this study. Measured parameters included the 10-year Framingham risk score (FRS), physical fitness (i.e., upper and lower body strength and flexibility and endurance), and cognitive performance based on Mini-Mental State Examination for dementia screening. The participants were classified as low (< 10%) or intermediate and high (≥ 10%) risk groups based on the 10-year FRS and as unfit (lower 50%) or fit (higher 50%) on a composite z-score of physical fitness. Logistic regression was used to estimate the odd ratios (ORs) and confidence intervals (CIs) of cognitive impairment according to the 10-year FRS and physical fitness-based classification.
The low FRS/unfit and intermediate or high FRS/unfit groups had significantly higher risks of cognitive impairment (OR, 3.714; 95% CI, 1.324– 10.418; p=0.013 and OR, 11.345; 95% CI, 4.810– 26.762; p< 0.001, respectively) compared with the low FRS/fit group (OR, 1). In particular, the elevated risk of cognitive impairment remained significant (OR, 3.876; 95% CI, 1.400– 10.726; p=0.009) even after adjustments for covariates such as age, body mass index, education, and physical inactivity.
The current findings suggest that an intervention targeting at both CVD risk reduction and physical fitness promotion is urgent as a preventive and/or therapeutic measure against declines in cognitive function in Korean elderly women.


Cognitive impairment; Heart disease risk factors; Physical fitness; Elderly
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