Lifestyle and Healthy Aging
Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine
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Objectives: To determine whether a dual-task gait and aerobic exercise intervention differentially impacted older adults with normal blood pressure (BP) dipping status (dippers) compared to those with nondipping status (nondippers).
Methods: This study was a secondary analysis involving participants (mean age = 70.3 years, 61% women) who attended a laboratory-based exercise intervention over a 6-month period (40 min/day and 3 days/week). Participants were assessed in measures of cognition, mobility, and cardiovascular health at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months (after a 6-month no-contact follow-up).
Results: We observed improvements in cognition in both groups at 6 and 12 months, although no between-group differences were seen. Nondippers demonstrated superior improvements in usual gait velocity and step length after the exercise intervention compared to dippers. Dippers reduced daytime systolic BP at 6 and 12 months to a greater extent than nondippers.
Discussion: BP dipping status at baseline did not influence exercise benefits to cognition but did mediate changes in mobility and cardiovascular health.