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Living healthier for longer: comparative effects of three heart-healthy behaviors on life expectancy with and without cardiovascular disease

Nusselder, Wilma J., Franco, Oscar H., Peeters, Anna and Mackenbach, Johan P. 2009, Living healthier for longer: comparative effects of three heart-healthy behaviors on life expectancy with and without cardiovascular disease, BMC public health, vol. 9, Article number: 487, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-487.

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Title Living healthier for longer: comparative effects of three heart-healthy behaviors on life expectancy with and without cardiovascular disease
Author(s) Nusselder, Wilma J.
Franco, Oscar H.
Peeters, AnnaORCID iD for Peeters, Anna orcid.org/0000-0003-4340-9132
Mackenbach, Johan P.
Journal name BMC public health
Volume number 9
Season Article number: 487
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2009
ISSN 1471-2458
Keyword(s) Aged
Body Weight
Cardiovascular Diseases
Exercise
Female
Health Behavior
Humans
Life Expectancy
Male
Middle Aged
Smoking
United States
Summary BACKGROUND: Non-smoking, having a normal weight and increased levels of physical activity are perhaps the three key factors for preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the relative effects of these factors on healthy longevity have not been well described. We aimed to calculate and compare the effects of non-smoking, normal weight and physical activity in middle-aged populations on life expectancy with and without cardiovascular disease.

METHODS: Using multi-state life tables and data from the Framingham Heart Study (n = 4634) we calculated the effects of three heart healthy behaviours among populations aged 50 years and over on life expectancy with and without cardiovascular disease. For the life table calculations, we used hazard ratios for 3 transitions (No CVD to CVD, no CVD to death, and CVD to death) by health behaviour category, and adjusted for age, sex, and potential confounders.

RESULTS: High levels of physical activity, never smoking (men), and normal weight were each associated with 20-40% lower risks of developing CVD as compared to low physical activity, current smoking and obesity, respectively. Never smoking and high levels of physical activity reduced the risks of dying in those with and without a history of CVD, but normal weight did not. Never-smoking was associated with the largest gains in total life expectancy (4.3 years, men, 4.1 years, women) and CVD-free life expectancy (3.8 and 3.4 years, respectively). High levels of physical activity and normal weight were associated with lesser gains in total life expectancy (3.5 years, men and 3.4 years, women, and 1.3 years, men and 1.0 year women, respectively), and slightly lesser gains in CVD-free life expectancy (3.0 years, men and 3.1 years, women, and 3.1 years men and 2.9 years women, respectively). Normal weight was the only behaviour associated with a reduction in the number of years lived with CVD (1.8 years, men and 1.9 years, women).

CONCLUSIONS: Achieving high levels of physical activity, normal weight, and never smoking, are effective ways to prevent cardiovascular disease and to extend total life expectancy and the number of years lived free of CVD. Increasing the prevalence of normal weight could further reduce the time spent with CVD in the population.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1471-2458-9-487
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2009, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30081588

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Health and Social Development
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.