TSUBONO, Y., FUKAO, A. and HISAMICHI, S. Health Practices and Mortality in a Rural Japanese Population. Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 1993, 171(4), 339-348-Association of personal health practices with mortality from all causes was studied. In 1988, 4, 318 residents aged 40 years and over in a rural town of Miyagi Prefecture, north-eastern part of Japan, completed a self-administered questionnaire including items on smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, sleeping patterns, and weight status. During the four year follow-up, 207 subjects had died. Relative risks (95 percent confidence intervals) of death from all causes adjusted for age, sex, and other confounding variables were 0.62 (0.39-0.98) for never smoking, 0.51(0.34-0.78) for no or moderate alcohol consumption, 0.66 (0.42-1.04) for exercising physical activity, 0.78 (0.56-1.10) for 7-8 hours of sleep, and 0.75 (0.52-1.07) for not being underweight. Compared with performing only 0-1 of the five low-risk practices concerning the items mentioned above, relative risks (95 percent confidence intervals) of all-cause mortality for performing 3, or all 5 practices were, 0.49 (0.30-0.80) and 0.14 (0.03-0.61), respectively (trend p= 0.0001). The results remained unchanged even after excluding early death occurring within the first year of the follow-up, or excluding the subjects with past history of diseases. Further research is required to explore the combined effects of the practices on mortality for longer observational period.
Tohoku University Medical Press