Relationship Between Physical Activity and Brain Atrophy Progression

Atsumu Yuki; Sungchul Lee; Heungyoul Kim; Rumi Kozakai; Fujiko Ando; Hiroshi Shimokata

Disclosures

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012;44(12):2362-2368. 

In This Article

Results

Characteristics of the Participants

Table 1 shows elementary statistics of the study variables in male and female participants. The mean follow-up durations of all participants were 8.2 ± 0.3 yr. There were no significant differences in baseline age, BMI, or number of steps between male and female participants. Body height and weight, alcohol intake, and education history were significantly higher in male participants than those in female participants (each, P < 0.0001). The percentage of body fat in female participants was significantly higher than that in male participants (P = 0.0126). The activity and total energy expenditures in men were significantly higher than those in women (each, P < 0.0001). There were no sex differences in the ratios of stroke, ischemic heart disease, and hypertension histories. The ratio of hyperlipidemia history in female participants was significantly higher than that in male participants (P = 0.0060). The ratios of diabetes history and smoking habits in male participants were significantly higher than that in female participants (diabetes history, P = 0.0126; smoking habits, P < 0.0001).

Progress of Frontal and Temporal Lobe Atrophy

Table 2 shows comparisons of the incidence of frontal and temporal lobe atrophy progression in each age group. Frontal lobe atrophy progression from the second wave examination to the sixth wave examination was present in 55 (14.4%) of 381 male participants and 35 (8.9%) of 393 female participants. The ratio of participants with frontal lobe atrophy progression in male participants was significantly higher than that in female participants (P = 0.0213). Aging raised the percentage of participants with frontal lobe atrophy progression in men and women (P trend <0.0001).

Temporal lobe atrophy progression from the second wave examination to the sixth wave examination was present in 100 (26.3%) of 381 male participants and 78 (19.8%) of 393 female participants. The ratio of participants with temporal lobe atrophy progression in male participants was significantly higher than that in female participants (P = 0.0344). Aging raised the percentage of participants with temporal lobe atrophy progression in men and women (P trend <0.0001).

Brain Atrophy Progression and Physical Activity Level

Table 3 shows the activity energy expenditure, number of steps, and total energy expenditure in the frontal and temporal lobe atrophy progression and nonprogression groups. In the frontal lobe, activity energy expenditure (P = 0.0095), number of steps (P = 0.0131), and total energy expenditure (P < 0.0001) were significantly higher in the male nonprogression group than the progression group. In female participants, total energy expenditure was significantly higher in the nonprogression group than that in the progression group (P = 0.0097). There were no differences in the activity energy expenditure or number of steps between the female nonprogression and progression groups.

In the temporal lobe, there were no differences in the activity energy expenditure or number of steps between the nonprogression and the progression groups in male or female participants. The total energy expenditure was significantly higher in the nonprogression group than that in the progression group in male (P = 0.0028) and female (P = 0.0096) participants.

Risk of Brain Atrophy Progression According to Physical Activity Level Differences

The results of multiple logistic regression analyses for risk of brain atrophy progression according to differences in the physical activity level in men and women are shown in Table 4 and Table 5, respectively. In male participants, the odds ratio of frontal lobe atrophy progression for the comparison between the fifth quintile in activity energy expenditure and the first quintile was 3.408 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.205–9.643). The odds ratio of frontal lobe atrophy progression for the comparison between the fifth quintile in number of steps and the first quintile was 3.651 (95% CI = 1.304–10.219). The odds ratios of frontal lobe atrophy progression for the comparison between the fifth quintile in total energy expenditure and the first and third quintiles were 4.816 (95% CI = 1.037–22.376) and 4.639 (95% CI = 1.191–18.067), respectively.

In female participants, there were no significant differences between frontal lobe atrophy progression and physical activity parameters. The odds ratios of frontal lobe atrophy progression for the comparison between the fifth quintile in total energy expenditure and the first to the third quintiles were 12.363 (95% CI = 1.029–148.594), 12.743 (95% CI = 1.292–125.792), and 21.539 (95% CI = 2.381–194.839), respectively.

We also evaluated temporal lobe atrophy progression using the adjustment model, similar to the frontal lobe atrophy progression analysis. There were no significant differences between temporal lobe atrophy progression and physical activities or total energy expenditure (Table 4 and Table 5 in any groups of participants.

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