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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 535071, 8 pages
Research Article

Physical Activity, Physical Performance, and Biological Markers of Health among Sedentary Older Latinos

1UCLA Department of Family Medicine, 10880 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1800, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA
2UCLA Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine & Health Services, 911 Broxton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
3UCLA Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, 10945 Le Conte Avenue, Suite 2339, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
4City of Los Angeles Department of Aging, 221 North Figueroa Street, Suite 180, Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA
5UCLA Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
6VA Greater LA Healthcare System, Building 220, 11301 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90073, USA

Received 6 February 2014; Accepted 26 May 2014; Published 12 June 2014

Academic Editor: M. Elaine Cress

Copyright © 2014 Gerardo Moreno et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Physical activity is associated with better physical health, possibly by changing biological markers of health such as waist circumference and inflammation, but these relationships are unclear and even less understood among older Latinos—a group with high rates of sedentary lifestyle. Methods. Participants were 120 sedentary older Latino adults from senior centers. Community-partnered research methods were used to recruit participants. Inflammatory (C-reactive protein) and metabolic markers of health (waist circumference, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, and glucose), physical activity (Yale physical activity survey), and physical performance (short physical performance NIA battery) were measured at baseline and 6-month followup. Results. Eighty percent of the sample was female. In final adjusted cross-sectional models, better physical activity indices were associated with faster gait speed (). In adjusted longitudinal analyses, change in self-reported physical activity level correlated inversely with change in CRP (; ) and change in waist circumference (; ). Biological markers of health did not mediate the relationship between physical activity and physical performance. Conclusion. In this community-partnered study, higher physical activity was associated with better physical performance in cross-sectional analyses. In longitudinal analysis, increased physical activity was associated with improvements in some metabolic and inflammatory markers of health.