Impact of cardiovascular risk factors on the relationships of physical activity with mood and cognitive function in a diverse sample

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Physical activity has well-known benefits for older adults' mood and cognitive functioning; however, it is not clear whether risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) affect the relationships of physical activity with these health outcomes among diverse older adults. This study investigated the impact of CVD risk burden on the relationships among self-reported physical activity, mood, and cognitive functioning in a diverse sample of 62 adults age 45 and older. We found that higher physical activity was associated with better attention and verbal working memory at lower CVD risk, but with worse attention and verbal working memory at higher CVD risk levels. Thus, higher CVD risk might limit the effectiveness of exercise interventions for mood and cognitive functioning. Future studies are needed to further clarify individual differences that impact the relationships among physical activity, CVD risk, and cognitive outcomes.

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Neuropsychology, development, and cognition. Section B, Aging, neuropsychology and cognition

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