Physical Activity and Cognitive Function in African American Older Adults Living With HIV

J Gerontol Nurs. 2021 Dec;47(12):27-34. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20211109-06. Epub 2021 Dec 1.


The purpose of the current study was to investigate the association between self-reported physical activity (minutes/week) and cognitive functioning in a sample of African American older adults living with HIV. A secondary analysis of baseline data collected from clinically stable African American older adults living with HIV (aged >50 years; N = 124) enrolled in the Rush Center of Excellence on Disparities in HIV and Aging study was conducted. Participants completed a battery of 19 cognitive function tests that were used to create summary scores of global cognition and five cognitive domains. Physical activity was measured using a modified self-report questionnaire derived from a national health survey. Average self-reported number of weekly minutes spent in light physical activity was 290.6 minutes and for moderate/vigorous physical activity was 314.67 minutes. Number of weekly minutes of light physical activity was significantly positively associated with visuospatial ability; however, no associations were found between moderate/vigorous physical activity and any cognitive domain. Contrary to expectations, our findings do not support a relationship between moderate/vigorous physical activity and cognitive function in African American older adults living with HIV. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 47(12), 27-34.].

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Black or African American*
  • Cognition
  • Exercise
  • HIV Infections*
  • Humans
  • Self Report