2011 Volume 21 Issue 5 Pages 376-384
Background: We assessed the effects of smoking and smoking cessation on life expectancy and active life expectancy among persons aged 55 years or older in Beijing.
Methods: This study included 1593 men and 1664 women who participated in the Beijing Longitudinal Study of Aging, which commenced in 1992 and had 4 survey waves up to year 2000. An abridged life table was used to estimate life expectancy, in which age-specific mortality and age-specific disability rates were adjusted by using a discrete-time hazard model to control confounders.
Results: The mean ages (SD) for men and women were 70.1 (9.25) and 70.2 (8.72) years, respectively; mortality and disability rates during follow-up were 34.7% and 8.0%, respectively. In both sexes, never smokers had the highest life expectancy and active life expectancy across ages, as compared with current and former smokers. Current heavy smokers had a shorter life expectancy and a shorter active life expectancy than light smokers. Among former smokers, male long-term quitters had a longer life expectancy and longer active life expectancy than short-term quitters, but this was not the case in women.
Conclusions: Older adults remain at higher risk of mortality and morbidity from smoking and can expect to live a longer and healthier life after smoking cessation.