The study aimed to examine the contemporaneous temporal association between changes in total physical activity, sports intensity, muscle strengthening exercise, and walking speed as predictors of all-cause, cardiovascular, cancer and other cause-specific mortality in older men.
Design, setting, participants, measurements
Community-dwelling men aged 70 years and older from Concord Health and Aging in Men Project were assessed at baseline (2005-2007, n = 1705), 2 years (n = 1367), and 5 years follow-up (n = 958). At all time points, Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly questionnaire, walking speed over a 6-m walk, and potential confounders were assessed. Mortality was ascertained through the state death registry with a median follow-up of 7 years.
As the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly score increased by 1 standard deviation over the follow-up period, the relative risk (RR) for mortality was 0.78 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.69-0.88] for all-cause, 0.66 (95% CI 0.55-0.79) for cardiovascular and 0.75 (95% CI 0.61-0.94) for other cause-specific mortality, but no association was observed in cancer mortality. The RR for undertaking strenuous sports during follow-up was 0.44 (95% CI 0.26-0.72) for all-cause mortality and 0.31 (95% CI 0.13-0.70) for cancer mortality when compared with no sports participation. Increases in walking speed per standard deviation over time were also associated with a decrease in all-cause mortality (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.61-0.78), with similar associations for cardiovascular (RR 0.60, 95% CI 0.48-0.74), but not cancer mortality.
Older men who engage in strenuous sports and those who increase their walking speed over time may have lower risk of all-cause and some cause-specific mortality.