Volume 26 (2016) Issue 7 Pages 361-370
Background: This study’s aim was to clarify the relationship of having hobbies and a purpose in life (PIL; in Japanese, ikigai) with mortality and a decline in the activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental ADL (IADL) among the community-dwelling elderly.
Methods: Prospective observational data from residents aged ≥65 years who were at increased risk for death (n = 1853) and developing a decline in ADL (n = 1254) and IADL (n = 1162) were analyzed. Cox proportional hazard models were used for mortality analysis of data from February 2011 to November 2014. ADL and IADL were evaluated using the Barthel Index and the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology Index of Competence, respectively. ADL and IADL were assessed at baseline and follow-up and were evaluated using logistic regression models. Fully adjusted models included terms for age, gender, BMI, income, alcohol intake, smoking history, number of chronic diseases, cognitive function, and depression.
Results: During the follow-up of eligible participants, 248 had died, 119 saw a decline in ADL, and 178 saw a decline in IADL. In fully adjusted models, having neither hobbies nor PIL was significantly associated with an increased risk of mortality (hazard ratio 2.08; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.47–2.94), decline in ADL (odds ratio 2.74; 95% CI, 1.44–5.21), and decline in IADL (odds ratio 1.89; 95% CI, 1.01–3.55) compared to having both hobbies and PIL.
Conclusions: Although effect modifications by cognitive functioning and depression cannot be ruled out, our findings suggest that having hobbies and PIL may extend not only longevity, but also healthy life expectancy among community-dwelling older adults.