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[LIVE TO 100+] Healthy lifestyle at every age linked to longevity

Adhering to a healthy lifestyle appears to be important even at late ages, suggesting that plans to improve lifestyle behaviors among all older adults may play a key role in promoting healthy aging and longevity, a new study from China suggests.

Previous studies have reported that lifestyle factors were associated with life

expectancy and/or mortality, but only a few focused on people ages 80 years or older.

For the current study, researchers analyzed data from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, a nationally representative and one of the largest prospective cohorts targeting people ages 80 years or older in the community. They constructed a healthy lifestyle score (HLS-100) with five traditional healthy lifestyle components, including smoking, alcohol use, exercise, dietary diversity, and body mass index. Higher scores indicated potentially better health outcomes.

The primary outcome was becoming a centenarian by 2018 (the end of follow-up).

The sample of 5,222 individuals (mean age, 94; 62%, women) included 1,454 identified centenarians and 3,768 controls (died before becoming centenarians) matched by age, sex, and year of entry into the study.

During a median follow-up of 5 years, 373 of 1,486 individuals in the lowest HLS-100 (scores, 0-2) group and 276 of 851 individuals in the highest HLS-100 (5-6) group became centenarians. The adjusted odds ratio comparing the highest versus the lowest HLS-100 groups was 1.61, meaning those with the highest scores were 61% more likely to become centenarians.

The findings “underscor[e] the importance of adherence to a healthy lifestyle for better health outcomes even at very advanced ages,” the authors wrote. “Developing

appropriate intervention strategies targeting lifestyle improvement to promote health may be universally beneficial across different life stages.”

To download the study, published in JAMA Network Open, click here

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