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Maturitas. 2013 Mar;74(3):246-51. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2012.12.001. Epub 2012 Dec 29.

Walking four times weekly for at least 15 min is associated with longevity in a cohort of very elderly people.

Author information

1
Clinical Epidemiology Unit, IDI-IRCSS, Rome, Italy. Electronic address: c.fortes@idi.it.
2
Clinical Epidemiology Unit, IDI-IRCSS, Rome, Italy.
3
Agency for Public Health of Lazio Region, Rome, Italy.
4
National Institute of Health, Rome, Italy.
5
Department of Epidemiology, Regional Health Service, Lazio, Italy.
6
National Research Institute for research on food and Nutrition, INRAN, Italy.
7
Department of NonCommunicable Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study investigated the role of walking outdoors on longevity, controlling for individual and other life-style factors as possible confounders.

METHODS:

A 10-year cohort study was conducted with 152 self-caring and mobile, mean age 80 years, were enrolled in the study. Information on socio-demographic characteristics, clinical and biochemical data, diet, physical activity, smoking, depression status, cognitive status and anthropometrics measurements, were obtained for all participants. Cox proportional-hazards models were used to determine independent predictors of longevity.

RESULTS:

During the 10-years of follow-up, 96 (63%) died. Old age, chronic diseases, smoking, depression, CD4/CD8 ratio and coffee consumption were significantly predictors of mortality. Over-all survival was highest for subjects walking at open air for 4 times weekly for at least 15 min in comparison to subjects walking less than 4 times weekly (40% versus 22%). After adjusting for sex, age, education, chronic diseases, smoking, Body Mass Index and CD4/CD8 ratio, elderly people walking at open air for four times weekly had 40% decreased risk of mortality that individuals who walked less than four times weekly [relative risk (RR)=0.53; 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.32-0.88, p=0.01].

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings suggest an independent and protective effect of walking on mortality and supports the encouragement of physical activity in advanced age for increasing longevity.

KEYWORDS:

Elderly; Immunity; Life-style; Longevity; Walking

PMID:
23280132
DOI:
10.1016/j.maturitas.2012.12.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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