Endurance and gait speed relationships with mild cognitive impairment and dementia

Beverly Gwen Windham, Sara B. Parker, Xiaoqian Zhu, Kelley Pettee Gabriel, Priya Palta, Kevin J. Sullivan, Kirby G. Parker, David S. Knopman, Rebecca F Gottesman, Michael E. Griswold, Thomas H. Mosley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Slower mobility is associated with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia. We examined the interaction of endurance with gait speed on prevalent MCI and dementia. Methods: Cross-sectional multinomial regression in the ARIC cohort (n = 2844 participants; 71 to 94 years; 44% men; 18% Black persons) with cognitive status (normal/MCI/dementia), 4 m gait speed, and endurance (2 minute walk [2MW]). Results: Faster gait speed (up to but not above 1 m/s) and better 2MW were separately associated with lower dementia risk. Good performance in both (2MW = 200 m, gait speed = 1.2 m/s) was associated with 99% lower dementia (Relative Prevalence Ratio [RPR] = 0.01 [95% CI: 0.0 to 0.06]) and 73% lower MCI, RPR = 0.27 (0.15 to 0.48) compared to poor performance in both (2MW = 100 m, gait speed = 0.8 m/s). Models incorporating a gait speed-by-2MW interaction term outperformed gait speed-only models (P <.001). Discussion: Gait speed relationships with dementia diminish at faster gait speeds. Combining endurance with gait speed may yield more sensitive markers of MCI and dementia than gait speed alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12281
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • cognition
  • dementia
  • endurance
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • walking speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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