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Determinants of Activity Levels in African Americans With Mild Cognitive Impairment

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Engaging in cognitive, social, and physical activities may prevent cognitive decline. In a sample of older African Americans with mild cognitive impairment (MCI; N=221), we investigated the cross-sectional relationships between activity levels and participants’ demographic, clinical, and neuropsychological characteristics. The average age of participants was 75.4 years (SD, 7.0); 177 (80.1%) were women. Participation in cognitive/social activities was positively associated with education, depression, literacy, mobility, instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), verbal learning, and subcomponents of executive function. A linear regression identified IADLs, education, depression, and verbal learning as independent predictors. Participation in physical activities was positively associated with sex, depression, IADLs, and subcomponents of executive function. An ordinal regression identified executive function and depression as independent correlates. These data suggest that unique characteristics are associated with cognitive/social and physical activities in older African Americans with MCI. These characteristics, coupled with low activity levels, may increase the risk of progression from MCI to dementia. Culturally relevant behavioral interventions to reduce cognitive decline in this high-risk population are needed.
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Keywords: African Americans; depression; mild cognitive impairment

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry 2: Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Sidney Kimmel Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University 3: Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Division of Biostatistics, Sidney Kimmel Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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