Sudden changes in cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, especially diet quality, physical activity attainment, and sleep hygiene, commonly accompany acute medical events such as surgeries among middle aged and older adults. These sudden changes are associated with poorer long-term cognitive and brain outcomes. The Covid- 19 pandemic caused a different version of sudden change: large numbers of healthy adults became confined to the home for extended periods of time, changed their patterns of food shopping, restaurant eating, sports and exercise engagement, and sleep due to home confinement orders and their lingering after-effects. The Covid19 pandemic is promoting a new and different form of sudden change in CV and lifestyle factors, the health impacts of which are not clear. Our immediate goal in this supplement is to rigorously assess the extent of sudden CV risk factor changes associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, with a long-term goal of assessing relationships between such cardiovascular changes and cognitive and brain changes in a large epidemiological cohort. This supplement will use validated technologies to objectively assess Covid-19-related changes to diet, physical activity, and sleep among black and white men and women in mid-life who have participated in the Bogalusa Heart Study (BHS) participants, and already consented to longitudinal assessment of CV risk factors, brain outcomes, and cognitive outcomes via their enrollment in the parent grant (RO1 AG041200). We will provide 250 BHS participants with wrist-worn accelerometers capable of assessing sleep quality and physical activity attainment (ActiGraph WGT3X+) as well as Remote Food Photography Methods implemented via a smartphone application (the SmartIntake app). Physical activity and sleep quality will be objectively measured over a 7-day period, and food intake over a 4-day period. This data, together with previous assessments of diet, physical activity, and sleep quality from earlier sweeps through the cohort, will position us to calibrate and analyze changes in these three CV risk factors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This data will position us to assess effects of such sudden CV risk changes on cognitive and brain outcomes, as well as race disparities in this association, to clarify the long-term public health impact of pandemic-related lifestyle changes. The data collected by this supplement efficiently leverages the parent grant (focused on CV risks and brain outcomes) in a population with substantial minority representation (35% African-American) and could identify targets for a novel lifestyle intervention to be rapidly deployed and scaled in a future pandemic as a way to preserve health. Leveraging the long-standing NIH investment in the Bogalusa Heart Study is the optimal approach for investigating the effects of pandemic-related sudden CV risk factor changes on cognitive and brain health.
Sudden changes in cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, especially diet quality, physical activity attainment, and sleep hygiene, have occurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Assessing the extent of sudden risk factor changes and their brain health impact, could identify targets for a novel lifestyle intervention to be rapidly deployed and scaled up in a future pandemic to preserve better CV and brain health.