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Association between maximal oxygen consumption and physical performance tests among older adults with cognitive frailty.

Experimental Gerontology 2023 November 14
INTRODUCTION: Cardiorespiratory fitness has an inverse relationship with cognitive impairment and frailty in older adults. Direct assessment of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) is the gold standard to assess cardiorespiratory fitness. However, it is costly and requires a laboratory setting. Therefore, VO2 max estimation among older adults with cognitive frailty (CF) will allow the assessment of aerobic capacity, which is commonly overlooked due to the complexity of the test.

AIM: This study aims to determine the use of one of three physical performance tests (2-minute step, 2-minute walk, and 1-minute sit to stand) to effectively estimate cardiorespiratory fitness among older adults with CF.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, community-dwelling individuals aged 60 years old and above in Klang Valley were screened for CF. The participants performed three physical performance tests (2-minute walk, 2-minute step, and 1-minute sit to stand) followed by treadmill-based maximal exercise testing on another day.

RESULTS: A total of 32 older adults with cognitive frailty (mean age; SD: 67.1;4.7 years) participated in this study. Nearly half of them had hypertension (43.5 %), hypercholesterolemia (43.5 %), and multimorbidity (47.8 %). Among the endurance tests performed, only the 2-minute walk test independently predicted VO2 max by sex-specific with men (R2  = 0.58, p = 0.03) and women (R2  = 0.34, p = 0.01). The 2-minute walk test had good agreement with VO2 max (ICC = 0.77, 95 % CI: -3.1-2.4).

CONCLUSION: The 2-minute walk test is a valid tool for estimating cardiorespiratory fitness among older adults with CF. However, it should be further tested across a larger population.

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