Increases in physical activity is as important as smoking cessation for reduction in total mortality in elderly men: 12 years of follow-up of the Oslo II study

Br J Sports Med 2015;49:743-748 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2014-094522

Authors: Holme, I.¹ ² and Anderssen, S. A ¹

¹Department of Sports Medicine, Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, Oslo, Norway

²Oslo Center of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Research Support Services, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway


Background: The study determined the relationships between PA, smoking and 12-year CV, non-CV and all-cause mortality in elderly Oslo men screened for CV disease in 1972–1973 and 2000. Methods: Among 14 846 men born during 1923–1932 and participating in 1972–1973, there were 5738 participants in 2000. Cox regression modelling of mortality endpoints, with and without competing risk, was applied analysing PA variables hours per week of light or vigorous PA intensity and degree of PA at leisure. Comparisons of predictive ability between PA and smoking were done by receiver operating characteristics. Results: Thirty minutes of PA per 6 days a week was associated with about 40% mortality risk reduction. There was a 5 years increased lifetime when comparing sedentary and moderate to vigorous physically active men. Conclusions: Even at the age of 73 years, PA is associated highly with mortality between groups of sedentary and active persons. Allowing for competing risk did not weaken these associations markedly. Public health strategies in elderly men should include efforts to increase PA in line with efforts to reduce smoking behaviour.

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