Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040

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How Long Would You Like to Live? A 25-year Prospective Observation of the Association Between Desired Longevity and Mortality
Yuta YokokawaToshimasa SoneSanae MatsuyamaYukai LuYumi SugawaraAkira FukaoIchiro Tsuji
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JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS Advance online publication
Supplementary material

Article ID: JE20210493

version.2: September 30, 2022
version.1: May 07, 2022

Background: Desired longevity represents how strongly people esteem possible extensions of their own lifetime. The association between desired longevity and mortality risk has been reported in only one prospective study, which examined a small sample of older participants. We aimed to examine the hypothesis that desired longevity at middle-age predicted long-term survival.

Methods: In the prospective cohort study, residents aged 40–64 years were asked how long they would like to live and asked to choose one from three options: longer than, as long as, or shorter than the life expectancy. We used Cox proportional hazards model to calculate the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for all-cause and cause-specific mortality according to the three groups for desired longevity, treating the “longer than” group as the reference. We conducted mediation analysis to investigate the mechanism for the association between desired longevity and mortality.

Results: We recruited 39,902 residents to the study. Risk of all-cause mortality was significantly higher in the “shorter than” group (HR 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04–1.21). The association was independent of sex, age, marital status, education, medical history, and health status. Regarding cause of death, mortality risk of cancer (HR 1.14; 95% CI, 1.00–1.29) and suicide (HR 2.15; 95% CI, 1.37–3.38) were also higher in the “shorter than” group. The unhealthy lifestyle mediated this association with all-cause mortality by 30.4%.

Conclusion: Shorter desired longevity was significantly associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, and mortality from cancer and suicide. Lifestyle behaviors particularly mediated this association.

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© 2022 Yuta Yokokawa et al.

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