The Role of Physical Activity on Neurocognitive Function in Diverse Older Persons with HIV (PWH)
This study was the first to examine the effects of physical activity and cardiorespiratory function on neurocognitive function among an ethnoculturally diverse group of older people with HIV (PWH) and HIV-negative older adults. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the synergistic effects of physical activity and ethnocultural status among this increasingly diverse, aging population, as both HIV and aging are associated with neurocognitive decline and Latinx and non-Latinx Black adults are at increased risk for dementia compared to non-Latinx white adults. We utilized two physical activity measures, a historical physical activity measure and a cardiorespiratory algorithm that asks about self-reported current physical activity, to determine if one of these measures is more suitable for assessing physical activity among this unique population. We found that there were no between-group differences in level of physical activity between an ethnoculturally diverse (Latinx of any race or non-Latinx Black) sample and non-Latinx white sample of older adults with and without HIV. Further, among this unique population, physical activity and/or cardiorespiratory fitness were not significantly related to neurocognitive function. Finally, the interaction between physical activity and ethnocultural status was not significant. The present study contributes to the literature on physical activity among older adults by investigating this relationship among an ethnoculturally diverse group of participants, who have previously been vastly underrepresented in the literature. Physical activity imparts many health benefits (e.g., improved cardiovascular health) and is an inexpensive, modifiable lifestyle factor that can be culturally tailored to as a non-medical intervention. Therefore, more research is needed to understand the complex relationship between physical activity and neurocognitive function in ethnoculturally diverse older adults to promote and attain health equity.
Summers, Angela C, "The Role of Physical Activity on Neurocognitive Function in Diverse Older Persons with HIV (PWH)" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29327182.