Association of Accelerometry-Measured Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Events in Mobility-Limited Older Adults: The LIFE (Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders) Study

J Am Heart Assoc. 2017 Dec 2;6(12):e007215. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.117.007215.


Background: Data are sparse regarding the value of physical activity (PA) surveillance among older adults-particularly among those with mobility limitations. The objective of this study was to examine longitudinal associations between objectively measured daily PA and the incidence of cardiovascular events among older adults in the LIFE (Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders) study.

Methods and results: Cardiovascular events were adjudicated based on medical records review, and cardiovascular risk factors were controlled for in the analysis. Home-based activity data were collected by hip-worn accelerometers at baseline and at 6, 12, and 24 months postrandomization to either a physical activity or health education intervention. LIFE study participants (n=1590; age 78.9±5.2 [SD] years; 67.2% women) at baseline had an 11% lower incidence of experiencing a subsequent cardiovascular event per 500 steps taken per day based on activity data (hazard ratio, 0.89; 95% confidence interval, 0.84-0.96; P=0.001). At baseline, every 30 minutes spent performing activities ≥500 counts per minute (hazard ratio, 0.75; confidence interval, 0.65-0.89 [P=0.001]) were also associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular events. Throughout follow-up (6, 12, and 24 months), both the number of steps per day (per 500 steps; hazard ratio, 0.90, confidence interval, 0.85-0.96 [P=0.001]) and duration of activity ≥500 counts per minute (per 30 minutes; hazard ratio, 0.76; confidence interval, 0.63-0.90 [P=0.002]) were significantly associated with lower cardiovascular event rates.

Conclusions: Objective measurements of physical activity via accelerometry were associated with cardiovascular events among older adults with limited mobility (summary score >10 on the Short Physical Performance Battery) both using baseline and longitudinal data.

Clinical trial registration: URL: Unique identifier: NCT01072500.

Keywords: accelerometry; aging; cardiovascular; physical activity.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy* / instrumentation
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Fitness Trackers
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Mobility Limitation*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology

Associated data