Relationships of Cerebral Perfusion With Gait Speed Across Systolic Blood Pressure Levels and Age: A Cohort Study

B. Gwen Windham, Michael E. Griswold, Radhikesh Ranadive, Kevin J. Sullivan, Thomas H. Mosley, Michelle M. Mielke, Clifford R. Jack, Dave Knopman, Ron Petersen, Prashanthi Vemuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This study aimed to examine if the association of cerebral perfusion with gait speed differs across systolic blood pressure (SBP) and age. Methods: Cerebral perfusion was measured via arterial spin labeled (ASL)-MRI among community-dwelling adults aged 31-94 years in the population-based Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. Usual gait speed was assessed over 5.6 meters on an electronic mat. Sex- and body mass index (BMI)-adjusted linear regression models estimated cross-sectional gait speed associations with ASL and modifying effects of age and SBP using 3-way and 2-way interaction terms between continuous age, SBP, and ASL. Results report estimated differences in gait speed per standard deviation (SD) lower ASL for exemplar SBPs and ages. Results: Among 479 participants (mean age 67.6 years; 44% women; mean gait speed 1.17 m/s), ASL relations to gait speed varied by age (ASL-x-age interaction: p =. 001) and SBP (ASL-x-SBP interaction: p =. 009). At an SBP of 120 mmHg, each SD lower ASL was associated with a 0.04 m/s (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.01, 0.07) slower gait speed at 65 years, 0.07 m/s (0.04, 0.10) at 75 years, and 0.09 m/s (0.05, 0.13) at 85 years. At an SBP of 140 mmHg, ASL associations with gait speed were attenuated to 0.01 (-0.01, 0.04), 0.04 (0.02, 0.06), and 0.06 (0.04, 0.09) m/s slower gait speed at ages 65, 75, and 85, respectively. Conclusion: Poorer cerebral perfusion is associated with clinically meaningful slower gait speeds, particularly with older age, while higher perfusion markedly attenuates age differences in gait speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-520
Number of pages7
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023


  • Cerebrovascular circulation
  • Imaging
  • Physical performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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