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Longitudinal associations of childhood fitness and obesity profiles with midlife cognitive function: an Australian cohort study


Tait, JL and Collyer, TA and Gall, SL and Magnussen, CG and Venn, AJ and Dwyer, T and Fraser, BJ and Moran, C and Srikanth, VK and Callisaya, ML, Longitudinal associations of childhood fitness and obesity profiles with midlife cognitive function: an Australian cohort study, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 25, (8) pp. 667-672. ISSN 1440-2440 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2022 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2022.05.009


Objectives: Clusters of low fitness and high obesity in childhood are associated with poorer health outcomes in later life, however their relationship with cognition is unknown. Identifying such profiles may inform strategies to reduce risk of cognitive decline. This study examined whether specific profiles of childhood fitness and obesity were associated with midlife cognition.

Design: Prospective study.

Methods: In 1985, participants aged 715 years from the Australian Childhood Determinants of Adult Health study were assessed for fitness (cardiorespiratory, muscular power, muscular endurance) and anthropometry (waist-to-hip ratio). Participants were followed up between 2017 and 2019 (aged 3950). Composites of psychomotor speed-attention, learning-working memory and global cognition were assessed using CogState computerised battery. Latent profile analysis was used to derive mutually exclusive profiles based on fitness and anthropometry. Linear regression analyses examined associations between childhood profile membership and midlife cognition adjusting for age, sex and education level.

Results: 1244 participants were included [age: 44.4  2.6 (mean  SD) years, 53% female]. Compared to those with the highest levels of fitness and lowest waist-to-hip ratio, three different profiles characterised by combinations of poorer cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular endurance and power were associated with lower midlife psychomotor-attention [up to −1.09 (−1.92, −0.26) SD], and lower global cognition [up to −0.71 (−1.41, −0.01) SD]. No associations were detected with learning-working memory.

Conclusions: Strategies that improve low fitness and decrease obesity levels in childhood could contribute to improvements in cognitive performance in midlife.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:physical fitness, cohort, epidemiology, psychomotor, obesity, cognition, childhood, midlife
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Geriatrics and gerontology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Primary care
UTAS Author:Gall, SL (Associate Professor Seana Gall)
UTAS Author:Magnussen, CG (Associate Professor Costan Magnussen)
UTAS Author:Venn, AJ (Professor Alison Venn)
UTAS Author:Fraser, BJ (Dr Brooklyn Fraser)
UTAS Author:Srikanth, VK (Dr Velandai Srikanth)
UTAS Author:Callisaya, ML (Dr Michele Callisaya)
ID Code:150247
Year Published:2022
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1135761)
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2022-06-05
Last Modified:2022-11-17

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