The influence of smoking, sedentary lifestyle and obesity on cognitive impairment-free life expectancy

Int J Epidemiol. 2014 Dec;43(6):1874-83. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyu170.


Background: Smoking, sedentary lifestyle and obesity are risk factors for mortality and dementia. However, their impact on cognitive impairment-free life expectancy (CIFLE)has not previously been estimated.

Methods: Data were drawn from the DYNOPTA dataset which was derived by harmonizing and pooling common measures from five longitudinal ageing studies. Participants for whom the Mini-Mental State Examination was available were included (N¼8111,48.6% men). Data on education, sex, body mass index, smoking and sedentary lifestyle were collected and mortality data were obtained from Government Records via data linkage.Total life expectancy (LE), CIFLE and years spent with cognitive impairment (CILE)were estimated for each risk factor and total burden of risk factors.

Results: CILE was approximately 2 years for men and 3 years for women, regardless of age. For men and women respectively, reduced LE associated with smoking was 3.82and 5.88 years, associated with obesity was 0.62 and 1.72 years and associated with being sedentary was 2.50 and 2.89 years. Absence of each risk factor was associated with longer LE and CIFLE, but also longer CILE for smoking in women and being sedentary in both sexes. Compared with participants with no risk factors, those with 2þ had shorter CIFLE of up to 3.5 years depending on gender and education level.

Conclusions: Population level reductions in smoking, sedentary lifestyle and obesity increase longevity and number of years lived without cognitive impairment. Years lived with cognitive impairment may also increase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Time Factors