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Caregiving for AD is associated with increased cardiovascular risk factors of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol. Yet, caregivers are less likely to see a doctor for their own health condition. Caregiver-centric health monitoring that is accessible and low burden via wearable technology can support the health among ADRD caregivers.
Family caregivers of ADRD are more likely to have fewer desirable health behaviors and greater chronic psychological stress. Physical activity and sedentary behavior are known modifiable factors of cardiovascular health. Similarly, chronic stress leads to disturbances in autonomic nervous system and cardiovascular system, these disturbances can be measured indirectly using heart rate variability. Both physical activity and heart rate variability can easily be monitored using wearable technology, and maybe useful in personalized health monitoring among ADRD caregivers. Shivangi’s research aims to identify the associations of wearable device measured physical activity, sedentary behavior, and heart rate variability with clinically meaningful risk factors (blood pressure, fasting glucose, lipids, and BMI) among ADRD caregivers. Her research will inform future interventions and researchers on designing tailored PA interventions in this population. The long-term implication would be the development of wearables for regular remote monitoring of ADRD caregiver’s health by clinicians and personalized health self-monitoring and promotion.