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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 9;8(12):e81877. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081877. eCollection 2013.

Healthy lifestyles reduce the incidence of chronic diseases and dementia: evidence from the Caerphilly cohort study.

Author information

  • 1Cochrane Institute of Primary Care and Public Health, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
  • 2School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.
  • 3Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Healthy lifestyles based on non-smoking, an acceptable BMI, a high fruit and vegetable intake, regular physical activity, and low/moderate alcohol intake, are associated with reductions in the incidence of certain chronic diseases, but to date there is limited evidence on cognitive function and dementia.

METHODS:

In 1979 healthy behaviours were recorded on 2,235 men aged 45-59 years in Caerphilly, UK. During the following 30 years incident diabetes, vascular disease, cancer and death were recorded, and in 2004 cognitive state was determined.

FINDINGS:

Men who followed four or five of the behaviours had an odds ratio (OR) and confidence intervals (CI) for diabetes, corrected for age and social class, of 0.50 (95% CI: 0.19, 1.31; P for trend with increasing numbers of healthy behaviours <0.0005). For vascular disease the OR was 0.50 (95% CI: 0.30, 0.84; P for trend <0.0005), and there was a delay in vascular disease events of up to 12 years. Cancer incidence was not significantly related to lifestyle although there was a reduction associated with non-smoking (OR: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.54, 0.79). All-cause mortality was reduced in men following four or five behaviours (OR 0.40; 95% CI: 0.24, 0.67; P for trend <0.005). After further adjustment for NART, the OR for men following four or five healthy behaviours was 0.36 (95% CI: 0.12, 1.09; P for trend <0.001) for cognitive impairment, and 0.36 (95% CI: 0.07, 1.99; P for trend <0.02) for dementia. The adoption of a healthy lifestyle by men was low and appears not to have changed during the subsequent 30 years, with under 1% of men following all five of the behaviours and 5% reporting four or more in 1979 and in 2009.

INTERPRETATION:

A healthy lifestyle is associated with increased disease-free survival and reduced cognitive impairment but the uptake remains low.

PMID:
24349147
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3857242
Free PMC Article
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