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Body Size, Physical Activity Could Impact Odds of Reaching 90

THURSDAY, Jan. 24, 2019 -- Height, body mass index (BMI), and physical activity are associated with longevity, with correlations differing by sex, according to research published online Jan. 21 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Lloyd Brandts and Piet A. van den Brandt, Ph.D., from the Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, conducted analyses using data from the Netherlands Cohort Study for 7,807 participants born in 1916 to 1917. Participants completed a questionnaire at age 68 to 70 years in 1986 and were followed up for vital status information until 2006 to 2007 (age 90 years); complete data were available for 5,479 participants.

The researchers identified significant associations between reaching longevity and height (relative risk [RR], 1.05 per 5-cm increment), BMI at baseline (≥30 versus 18.5 to <25 kg/m²: RR, 0.68), and BMI change since age 20 years (≥8 versus 0 to <4 kg/m²: RR, 0.81) in women. Height and BMI were not associated with reaching longevity in men. There was an inverse U-shaped association for nonoccupational physical activity with reaching longevity in women, with the highest RR for around 60 minutes per day. There was a positive linear association between physical activity and reaching longevity in men.

"Height, BMI at age 68 to 70 years, and BMI change since the age of 20 years were significantly associated with reaching longevity in women but not in men," the authors write.

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Posted: January 2019

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