Physical Activity and Mortality Risk in the Japanese Elderly. A Cohort Study

Kazumune Ueshima, Kazuko Ishikawa-Takata, Takashi Yorifuji, Etsuji Suzuki, Saori Kashima, Soshi Takao, Masumi Sugiyama, Toshiki Ohta, Hiroyuki Doi

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65 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Physical activity recommendations for older adults with poor health needs to be understood. Purpose: This study aims to examine the association between the frequency of physical activity and mortality among a sample of elderly subjects, most of whom were under treatment for pre-existing disease. Methods: Data on the frequency of leisure-time physical activity, walking for transportation, and non-exercise physical activity were obtained from a population-based cohort study in Shizuoka, Japan. Of the randomly selected 22,200 residents aged 65-84 years, 10,385 subjects were followed from 1999 to 2006 and analyzed. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs were obtained for all-cause; cardiovascular disease (CVD); and cancer mortality, after adjusting for covariates such as pre-existing disease(s). A subgroup analysis that was restricted to subjects under treatment for pre-existing disease(s) at baseline was further conducted. Data were collected between 1999 and 2006, and all analyses were conducted in 2008 and 2009. Results: Every physical activity was associated with a reduced risk of all-cause and CVD mortality, among not only the total sample but even those under treatment. The HRs for CVD mortality among participants with 5 or more days of non-exercise physical activity per week for the total sample and those with pre-existing disease(s) were 0.38 (95% CI=0.22, 0.55) and 0.35 (95% CI=0.24, 0.52), respectively, compared with no non-exercise physical activity. The association between physical activity and cancer mortality was not clear. Conclusions: This study suggests a protective effect of physical activity on all-cause and CVD mortality among Japanese elderly people with pre-existing disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-418
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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