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Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 20;8(1):9400. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27704-7.

Long-term leisure-time physical activity and other health habits as predictors of objectively monitored late-life physical activity - A 40-year twin study.

Author information

1
Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, FI-40014, Jyväskylä, Finland.
2
The UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research, FI-33500, Tampere, Finland.
3
Turku PET Centre, University of Turku, FI-20014, Turku, Finland.
4
Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, HUS Medical Imaging Center, Helsinki University Central Hospital and University of Helsinki, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland.
5
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, University of Helsinki, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland.
6
Clinical Neurology, University of Turku, FI-20014, Turku, Finland.
7
Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland.
8
Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, FI-40014, Jyväskylä, Finland. urho.m.kujala@jyu.fi.

Abstract

Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in old age is an important indicator of good health and functional capacity enabling independent living. In our prospective twin cohort study with 616 individuals we investigated whether long-term physical activity assessed three times, in 1975, 1982 and 1990 (mean age 48 years in 1990), and other self-reported health habits predict objectively measured MVPA measured with a hip-worn triaxial accelerometer (at least 10 hours per day for at least 4 days) 25 years later (mean age of 73 years). Low leisure-time physical activity at younger age, higher relative weight, smoking, low socioeconomic status, and health problems predicted low MVPA in old age in individual-based analyses (altogether explaining 20.3% of the variation in MVPA). However, quantitative trait modeling indicated that shared genetic factors explained 82% of the correlation between baseline and follow-up physical activity. Pairwise analyses within monozygotic twin pairs showed that only baseline smoking was a statistically significant predictor of later-life MVPA. The results imply that younger-age physical activity is associated with later-life MVPA, but shared genetic factors underlies this association. Of the other predictors mid-life smoking predicted less physical activity at older age independent of genetic factors.

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