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Minerva Medica 2010 October;101(5):295-303


language: Italian

Determinants of short-term memory: is there a difference between young adults and postmenopausal women?

Di Blasio A. 1, Di Donato F. 2, D’Angelo E. 2, Berchicci M. 1, 3, Gallina S. 1, Ripari P. 1, 4, Napolitano G. 1

1 Dipartimento di Scienze del Movimento Umano, Università G. d’Annunzio, Chieti, Italia 2 Facoltà di Scienze dell’Educazione Motoria, Università G. d’Annunzio, Chieti, Italia 3 Behavioural Imaging and Neural Dynamic Centre, Università G. d’Annunzio, Chieti, Italia 4 Centro Universitario di Medicina dello Sport, Università G. d’Annunzio, Chieti, Italia


AIM: The literature indicates that several variables are influencing cognitive health. The aim of the study was to investigate the main determinants of the short-term memory among anthropometric, dietary and performance variables in a sample of healthy women. The role played by the age was also investigated.
METHODS: Forty-five healthy overweight women were recruited through general physicians: 23 were young adults (24.63±4.17 years) and 22 were postmenopausal (53.30±2.95 years). Overweight condition was assessed according to the age-adjusted reference values. Participants were analyzed for Digit Span, blood pressure, body composition, aerobic fitness and dietary habits.
RESULTS: Young adults and postmenopausal women did not differ either in Digit Span or in dietary habits. In postmenopausal women Digit Span was positively correlated with body weight, body mass index, body fat, waist circumference and daily intake of vitamin D. Linear regression model indicated vitamin D as the only significant predictor variable of Digit Span. In young adults Digit Span had no correlations with the others investigated variables.
CONCLUSION: In postmenopause, vitamin D daily intake is important not only for skeletal, but also for cognitive health. Even though young adults and post-menopausal women did not differ for health status, short-term memory in young adulthood seems to be differently linked with the investigated variables than during post-menopause.

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