Association of a healthy lifestyle with mortality in older people

Catherine Robb, Prudence R. Carr, Jocasta Ball, Alice Owen, Lawrence J. Beilin, Anne B. Newman, Mark R. Nelson, Christopher M. Reid, Suzanne G. Orchard, Johannes T. Neumann, Andrew M. Tonkin, Rory Wolfe, John J. McNeil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Unhealthy lifestyle behaviours such as smoking, high alcohol consumption, poor diet or low physical activity are associated with morbidity and mortality. Public health guidelines provide recommendations for adherence to these four factors, however, their relationship to the health of older people is less certain. Methods: The study involved 11,340 Australian participants (median age 7.39 [Interquartile Range (IQR) 71.7, 77.3]) from the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly study, followed for a median of 6.8 years (IQR: 5.7, 7.9). We investigated whether a point-based lifestyle score based on adherence to guidelines for a healthy diet, physical activity, non-smoking and moderate alcohol consumption was associated with subsequent all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Results: In multivariable adjusted models, compared to those in the unfavourable lifestyle group, individuals in the moderate lifestyle group (Hazard Ratio (HR) 0.73 [95% CI 0.61, 0.88]) and favourable lifestyle group (HR 0.68 [95% CI 0.56, 0.83]) had lower risk of all-cause mortality. A similar pattern was observed for cardiovascular related mortality and non-cancer/non-cardiovascular related mortality. There was no association of lifestyle with cancer-related mortality. Conclusions: In a large cohort of initially healthy older people, reported adherence to a healthy lifestyle is associated with reduced risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Adherence to all four lifestyle factors resulted in the strongest protection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number646
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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