Supplementary Material for: Regional Subclinical Cerebrovascular Disease Is Associated with Balance in an Elderly Multi-Ethnic Population

Introduction: White matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV) and subclinical brain infarcts (SBI) are associated with impaired mobility, but less is known about the association of WMHV in specific brain regions. We hypothesized that anterior WMHV would be associated with lower scores on the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), a well-validated mobility scale. Methods: The SPPB was measured a median of 5 years after enrollment into the Northern Manhattan MRI sub study. Volumetric distributions for WMHV in 14 brain regions as a proportion of total cranial volume were determined. Multi-variable linear regression was performed to examine the association of SBI and regional log-WMHV with the SPPB score. Results: Among 668 participants with SPPB measurements (mean 74 ± 9 years, 37% male and 70% Hispanic), the mean SPPB score was 8.2 ± 2.9. Total (beta = –0.3 per SD, p = 0.001), anterior periventricular (beta = –0.4 per SD, p = 0.001), parietal (beta = –0.2 per SD, p = 0.02) and frontal (beta = –0.3 per SD, p = 0.002) WMHVs were associated with SPPB; other WMHV and SBI were not associated with the SPPB. Conclusions: WMHV, especially in the anterior ­cerebral regions, is associated with a lower SPPB. Prevention of subclinical cerebrovascular disease is a potential target to prevent physical decline in the elderly.