Cardiovascular and other causes of death as a function of lifestyle habits in a quasi extinct middle-aged male population. A 50-year follow-up study

Int J Cardiol. 2016 May 1:210:173-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2016.02.115. Epub 2016 Feb 23.


Objectives: To relate major causes of death with lifestyle habits in an almost extinct male middle-aged population.

Material and methods: A 40-59 aged male population of 1712 subjects was examined and followed-up for 50 years. Baseline smoking habits, working physical activity and dietary habits were related to 50 years mortality subdivided into 12 simple and 3 composite causes of death by Cox proportional hazard models. Duration of survival was related to the same characteristics by a multiple linear regression model.

Results: Death rate in 50 years was of 97.5%. Out of 12 simple groups of causes of death, 6 were related to smoking habits, 3 to physical activity and 4 to dietary habits. Among composite groups of causes of death, hazard ratios (and their 95% confidence limits) of never smokers versus smokers were 0.68 (0.57-0.81) for major cardiovascular diseases; 0.65 (0.52-0.81) for all cancers; and 0.72 (0.64-0.81) for all-cause deaths. Hazard ratios of vigorous physical activity at work versus sedentary physical activity were 0.63 (0.49-0.80) for major cardiovascular diseases; 1.01 (0.72-1.41) for all cancers; and 0.76 (0.64-0.90) for all-cause deaths. Hazard ratios of Mediterranean Diet versus non-Mediterranean Diet were 0.68 (0.54-0.86) for major cardiovascular diseases; 0.54 (0.40-0.73) for all cancers; and 0.67 (0.57-0.78) for all-cause deaths. Expectancy of life was 12 years longer for men with the 3 best behaviors than for those with the 3 worst behaviors.

Conclusions: Some lifestyle habits are strongly related to lifetime mortality.

Keywords: 50-Year follow-up; All-cause deaths; Cancers; Cardiovascular diseases; Lifestyle; Lifetime mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cause of Death / trends
  • Cohort Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Habits
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / mortality*
  • Smoking / trends
  • Surveys and Questionnaires