Abstract 5008: Lifestyle Practices in Adults 65 Years and Older and 7-Year Follow-up Mortality: The Chicago Heart Association Detection Project in Industry Study (CHA)
Background and Objective: Prospective data on combined effects of lifestyle practices (smoking, heavy drinking, and physical inactivity) in older age on mortality are limited. We examine the combined impact of lifestyle behaviors in adults 65 years and older on CVD, non-CVD, cancer, and all-cause mortality after 7 years of follow-up.
Methods: In 1996, a health survey was mailed to all surviving participants, ages 65–102, from the Chicago Heart Association Detection Project in Industry Study. The response rate was 60% and the sample included 4,200 male and 3,288 female respondents. Unhealthy lifestyle (un-HL) practices were classified into three groups as having two or more, one, or none of the following three un-HL factors (current smoking or stopped smoking only within the past 10 years; heavy drinking ->15 g/day for women or >30 g/day for men; and infrequent exercise). Vital status was ascertained through 2003 via the National Death Index.
Results: With adjustment for age, race, education, marital status, living arrangement, and BMI, the hazards of CVD, non-CVD, cancer, and all-cause mortality were highest among men and women who had two or more un-HL factors and lowest among those who had healthy lifestyle. For example, in men, compared to those with none un-HL factors, the hazard ratios (95%CIs) of all-cause death for those with two or more and one un-HL factors were 2.10 (1.73–2.46) and 1.56 (1.36–1.77), respectively. Associations were attenuated somewhat but remained strongly significant with further adjustment for comorbidities (see table⇓).
Conclusion: Having no unhealthy lifestyle factors in older age is associated with a lower risk for CVD, non-CVD, cancer, and all-cause death. These results should encourage healthy lifestyle practices in elderly people to decrease mortality and promote longevity.