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The fitness versus body fat hypothesis in relation to hippocampal structure

Aghjayan, S.L., Jakicic, J.M., Rogers, R.J., Esteban‐Cornejo, I., Peven, J.C., Stillman, C.M., Watt, J.C. and Erickson, K.I. (2020) The fitness versus body fat hypothesis in relation to hippocampal structure. Psychophysiology . Early View.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13591
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Abstract

The Fitness Versus Body Fat Hypothesis argues that cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) plays a more important role in cardiovascular health than adiposity. It remains poorly understood whether CRF or adiposity accounts for a greater amount of variation in measures of brain health. We examined the contribution of CRF, adiposity, and their interaction with hippocampal structure. This study included 124 sedentary adults (M = 44.34) with overweight/obesity (Body Mass Index mean = 32.43). FMRIB’s Integrated Registration and Segmentation Tool was used to segment the hippocampus. Using hierarchical regression, we examined whether CRF, assessed via a submaximal graded exercise test, or adiposity, assessed as percent body fat using dual‐energy x‐ray absorptiometry (DXA) was associated with left and right hippocampal volume. Vertex‐wise shape analysis was performed to examine regional shape differences associated with CRF and adiposity. Higher CRF was significantly associated with greater left hippocampal volume (p = .031), with outward shape differences along the surface of the subiculum and CA1 regions. Adiposity was not associated with left or right hippocampal volume or shape. The interaction between adiposity and CRF was not significant. Neither CRF nor adiposity were associated with thalamus or caudate nucleus volumes or shapes, two control regions. Higher CRF, but not adiposity, was related to greater left hippocampal volume, with outward shape differences along the surface of the subiculum and CA1 regions in a midlife sample with overweight/obesity. These findings indicate that, within the context of obesity, CRF is an important contributor to hippocampal structure, highlighting the importance of interventions targeting CRF.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2020 Society for Psychophysiological Research
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/55927
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