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Physical Fitness is a Mediator in the Relationship between Arterial Stiffness and Cognitive Function



To investigate physical fitness as a mediator of the relationship between arterial stiffness and cognitive function in seniors.


This is a cross-sectional study comprising 155 individuals free from chronic diseases (75.5 ± 6.5 years; 69.7% female). Carotid-femoral pulse wave was assessed through applanation tonometry. Cognitive function was evaluated with Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Physical fitness was assessed through handgrip strength and Senior Fitness Test (SFT). A Z-score including individual physical fitness components was computed as a global index of physical fitness. Hayes’s PROCESS macro for Statistical Package for the Social Sciences was used for the simple mediation analysis, using bootstrapped procedures.


After adjustments for sex and age, physical fitness Z-score mediated the relationship between arterial stiffness and cognitive function [Indirect effect = −0.382 (95% CI −0.670 to −0.138)].


Findings suggest that physical fitness, independently of sex and age, is a mediator on the relationship between arterial stiffness and cognitive function in seniors free from chronic diseases.


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Correspondence to Lucimere Bohn.

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Peer review under responsibility of the Association for Research into Arterial Structure and Physiology

Data availability statement: Data available on request due to privacy/ethical restrictions.

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Nascimento, A., Barros, D., Oliveira, J. et al. Physical Fitness is a Mediator in the Relationship between Arterial Stiffness and Cognitive Function. Artery Res 25, 151–155 (2019).

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