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Bidirectional associations between word memory and one-legged balance performance in mid and later life

Blodgett, JM; Cooper, R; Davis, DHJ; Kuh, D; Hardy, R; (2020) Bidirectional associations between word memory and one-legged balance performance in mid and later life. Experimental Gerontology , 144 , Article 111176. 10.1016/j.exger.2020.111176. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Age-related changes in cognitive and balance capabilities are well-established, as is their correlation with one another. Given limited evidence regarding the directionality of associations, we aimed to explore the direction and potential explanations of associations between word memory and one-legged balance performance in mid-later life. / Methods: A total of 3062 participants in the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development, a British birth cohort study, were included. One-legged balance times (eyes closed) were measured at ages 53, 60–64 and 69 years. Word memory was assessed at ages 43, 53, 60–64 and 69 with three 15-item word-recall trials. Autoregressive cross-lagged and dual change score models assessed bidirectional associations between word memory and balance. Random-effects models quantified the extent to which these associations were explained by adjustment for anthropometric, socioeconomic, behavioural and health status indicators. / Results: Autoregressive cross-lagged and dual change score models suggested a unidirectional association between word memory and subsequent balance performance. In a sex-adjusted random-effects model, 1 standard deviation increase in word memory was associated with 9% (7,12%) higher balance performance at age 53. This association decreased with age (−0.4% /year (−0.6,-0.1%). Education partially attenuated the association, although it remained in the fully-adjusted model (3% (0.1,6%)). / Conclusions: There was consistent evidence that word memory is associated with subsequent balance performance but no evidence of the reverse association. Cognitive processing plays an important role in the balance process, with educational attainment providing some contribution. These findings have important implications for understanding cognitive-motor associations and for interventions aimed at improving cognitive and physical capability in the ageing population.

Type: Article
Title: Bidirectional associations between word memory and one-legged balance performance in mid and later life
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.exger.2020.111176
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2020.111176
Language: English
Additional information: Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Balance, Birth cohort, Cognitive ageing, Epidemiology, Life course, Physical performance
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Targeted Intervention
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10119238
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