Lifestyle-Related Factors and Total Mortality in a Mediterranean Prospective Cohort

Introduction

Lifestyle-related habits have a strong influence on morbidity and mortality worldwide. This study investigates the association between a multidimensional healthy lifestyle score and all-cause mortality risk, including in the score some less-studied lifestyle-related factors.

Methods

Participants (n=20,094) of the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra cohort were followed up from 1999 to 2018. The analysis was conducted in 2019. A 10-point healthy lifestyle score previously associated with a lower risk of major cardiovascular events was applied, assigning 1 point to each of the following items: never smoking, moderate-to-high physical activity, moderate-to-high Mediterranean diet adherence, healthy BMI, moderate alcohol consumption, avoidance of binge drinking, low TV exposure, short afternoon nap, time spent with friends, and working ≥40 hours per week.

Results

During a median follow-up of 10.8 years, 407 deaths were documented. In the multivariable adjusted analysis, the highest category of adherence to the score (7–10 points) showed a 60% lower risk of all-cause mortality than the lowest category (0–3 points) (hazard ratio=0.40, 95% CI=0.27, 0.60, p<0.001 for trend). In analyses of the healthy lifestyle score as a continuous variable, for each additional point in the score, a 18% relatively lower risk of all-cause mortality was observed (adjusted hazard ratio=0.82, 95% CI=0.76, 0.88).

Conclusions

Adherence to a healthy lifestyle score, including some less-studied lifestyle-related factors, was longitudinally associated with a substantially lower mortality rate in a Mediterranean cohort. Comprehensive health promotion should be a public health priority.

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