Researchers at the University of Southern California analysed the Leisure World Cohort Study to evaluate the relationship between lifestyle practices and cardiovascular disease mortality. The findings suggest that not smoking, moderate alcohol consumption, physical activity, and normal weight are important health promoters in our aging population.
Source: Lifestyle Practices and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in the Elderly: The Leisure World Cohort Study. Annlia Paganini-Hill. Cardiology Research and Practice, Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 983764, doi:10.4061/2011/983764
The study explored the association of smoking, alcohol consumption, caffeine intake, physical activity, and body mass index on cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in 13,296 older adults and calculated risk estimates using Cox regression analysis in four age groups (younger than 70, 70-74, 75-79, and over 80 years old).
The most important factor was current smoking, which increased risk in all age-sex groups. In women, alcohol consumption of three of fewer drinks per day was related to decreased, 15-30%, risk in those older than 80 years old; in men, consuming four or less drinks a day was associated with reduced, 15-30%, risk. Active aged 70 or older had 20-40% lower risk. Both underweight and obese women were at increased risk.
The authors state that results in this large elderly cohort with long follow up showing a decreased risk of cardiovascular mortality with several lifestyle practices suggest that maintenance of these is an important health promoter in aging populations.