2012 Volume 22 Issue 4 Pages 340-347
Background: The proportion of Japanese adults aged 65 years or older is predicted to increase; thus, it is becoming more important to identify factors that influence health status among elderly adults in Japan. We conducted a follow-up study of community-dwelling elderly adults to assess the relationship of hobby activities with mortality and incident frailty.
Methods: We randomly selected 3583 individuals aged 65 to 84 years from the residential registries of 7 study areas in Hokkaido, Japan in August 2007. Among them, 1955 (54.6%) returned completed questionnaires with written informed consent by mail. The baseline assessment questionnaire comprised questions on current and past involvement in hobby activities, self-perceived health status, smoking and drinking habits, and body height and weight. Questions on hobby activities were from 4 categories: solitary physical, group physical, solitary cultural, and group cultural activities. We later conducted a follow-up survey of the participants to ascertain all-cause mortality and incident frailty. A Cox proportional hazards model was used for analysis of data from September 2007 to May 2010.
Results: After adjusting for potential confounders, the risk of incident frailty among respondents participating in solitary physical activities was significantly lower than in those who did not participate in such activities (hazard ratio = 0.57; 95% CI 0.33, 0.99). Furthermore, the risk of incident frailty among respondents taking part in group cultural activities was significantly lower than in those who did not participate in such activities (0.41; 0.19, 0.87).
Conclusions: These findings may be important for programs that seek to promote good health among elderly adults.