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Health Promot Int. 2006 Mar;21(1):5-12. Epub 2005 Dec 7.

Leisure participation predicts survival: a population-based study in Finland.

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  • 1National Public Health Institute, Peltolantie 3, FIN-20720 Turku, Finland.


The authors study whether leisure participation is an independent predictor of survival over 20 years. Of the nationally representative sample of 8000 adult Finns (Mini-Finland Health Survey), aged >or=30 years, the cohort of 30-59 years (n 5087) was chosen for the Cox proportional survival analyses. The sum score of leisure participation was divided in quartiles (the lowest quartile = scarce = 0-6), two intermediate quartiles = 7-11 and the highest quartile = abundant = 12-21). Adjusted for statistically significant covariates (age, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, self-rated health and diagnosed chronic diseases), and with scarce participation as the reference, the hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the risk of death were 0.80, 0.67-0.95 (intermediate) and 0.66, 0.52-0.84 (abundant) for men. The association was insignificant in women with good health. The results show that leisure participation predicts survival in middle-aged Finnish men and its effect is independent of demographic features, of health status and of several other health-related factors. The beneficial effect emphasizes the significance of leisure activities for the promotion of men's health.

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