Abstract 19601: Absence of Adverse Cardiovascular Risk Factors for Over 35 Years is Associated with Better Health-Related Quality of Life at Older Ages: The Chicago Healthy Aging Study (CHAS)
Background: Absence of adverse cardiovascular (CV) risk factors (RF) or having a favorable CV RF profile during middle-age is associated with better health-related quality of life at older ages. However, the impact of having no adverse CV RFs throughout middle- and older-age remains unknown. Objective: To examine the impact of remaining free of all adverse CV RFs for over 35 years on health-related quality of life among participants of the Chicago Health Aging Study (CHAS).
Methods: The CHAS study conducted physical examinations at baseline (1967-1973) and follow-up (2007-2010). Absence of adverse CV RF profile was defined as having all the following: blood pressure <140/<90 mm Hg and not taking antihypertensive medication, serum cholesterol level <240 mg/dL and not taking cholesterol-lowering medication, BMI <30, no diabetes and not currently smoking. Health-related quality of life was measured at follow-up using the SF-36. We compared the SF-36 component scores (range 0-100, higher scores associated with better health-related quality of life) for individuals who continued to remain free of adverse CV RF profile in older age (i.e. from baseline to follow-up) vs. those with elevated levels of CV risk factors at baseline and/or at follow-up using linear regression models adjusted for age, sex, race, and highest educational attainment.
Results: Among 1395 CHAS participants 8.8% (123) remained free of adverse CV risk factors for over 35 years from middle to older-age. Individuals who continued to have no adverse CV risk factors were more likely to be white (95.3% vs 87.4%; p<0.01) and have a graduate school education (35% vs 19%; P<0.001). Also, they had higher (better) adjusted physical component scores (54.0 vs 51.7; P=0.005), general health scores (77.0 vs 72.9; P=0.008), and physical functioning scores (99.5 vs 94.1; P=0.003) compared to those with adverse RFs. No differences were observed for the mental component score or the pain index, mental health index, role-emotional, role-physical, social functioning or vitality subscales.
Conclusions: Remaining free of adverse cardiovascular risk factors for over 35 years from middle to older-age is associated with better physical quality of life at older ages.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.