Abstract 1340: Unhealthy Lifestyle Practices in Older Age and Subsequent Health-Related Quality of Life: The Chicago Heart Association Detection Project in Industry Study (CHA)
Background: Unhealthy lifestyle (un-HL) practices such as smoking, heavy drinking, and lack of physical activity are related to higher mortality, morbidity, as well as poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL). However data on combined effects of these un-HL factors in older age on subsequent HRQoL is limited.
Methods: The sample consists of 2,120 men and 1,542 women from the CHA Study, ages 65–93 in 1996 with data from surveys in 1996 and 2003 including HRQoL assessments by Health Status Questionnaire-12 (HSQ-12) scores measuring health perception, and physical and mental well-being. The higher the HSQ-12 score, the better the outcome. Unhealthy lifestyle 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 within the past 10 years; heavy drinking ->15 g/day for women or >30 g/day for men; and infrequent exercise).
Results: With adjustment for age, race, education, marital status, living arrangement, obesity, and the presence of chronic diseases in 1996, means of HSQ-12 scores of physical, mental, and social functioning measuring in 2003 were lowest among men and women who had two or more un-HL factors and highest among those who had healthy lifestyle. For example, in men, compared to those with none un-HL factors, summary HRQoL scores of those with two or more and one un-HL factors were lower by 79 and 37 units, respectively (see table⇓). Associations were attenuated but remained significant with further adjustment for HSQ-12 scores in 1996 (p-trends ranged from 0.015 to <0.001).
Conclusions: Higher number of un-HL factors was associated with poorer HRQoL. This finding indicates the importance of healthy lifestyle practices in older age for better quality of life.