Background: Engagement in leisure activities among older people is associated with a lower risk of mortality. However, no studies have been conducted focusing on the difference of associations with mortality risk among multiple types of leisure activities.
Methods: We examined prospectively the association of engagement in leisure activities with all-cause mortality in a cohort of older Japanese adults. The Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study included 48,216 participants aged 65 years or older. During a mean follow-up period of 5.6 years, we observed 5,575 deaths (11.6%). We investigated the total number of leisure activities, as well as combinations of 25 different leisure activities with Cox proportional hazards models, adjusting for potential confounding factors.
Results: We found a linear relationship between the total number of leisure activities and mortality hazard (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.92–0.95). Furthermore, engagement in leisure activities involving physical activity, as well as group-based interactions, showed the strongest associations with lowered mortality. By contrast, engagement in cultural leisure activities and solitary leisure activities were not associated with all-cause mortality.
Conclusion: Although we cannot rule out residual confounding, our findings suggest that encouraging engagement in physically-active group-based leisure activities may promote longevity in older adults.
Background: Homebound status is one of the most important risk factors associated with functional decline and long-term care in older adults. Studies show that neighborhood built environment and community social capital may be related to homebound status. This study aimed to clarify the association between homebound status for community-dwelling older adults and community environment—including social capital and neighborhood built environment—in rural and urban areas.
Methods: We surveyed people aged 65 years and older residing in three municipalities of Niigata Prefecture, Japan, who were not certified as requiring long-term care. The dependent variable was homebound status; explanatory variables were community-level social capital and neighborhood built environment. Covariates were age, sex, household, marital status, socioeconomic status, instrumental activities of daily living, the Geriatric Depression Scale-15, self-rated health, number of diseases under care, and individual social capital. The association between community social capital or neighborhood built environment and homebound status, stratified by rural/urban areas, was investigated using multilevel logistic regression analysis.
Results: Among older adults (n = 18,099), the homebound status prevalence rate was 6.9% in rural areas and 4.2% in urban areas. The multilevel analysis showed that, in rural areas, fewer older adults were homebound in communities with higher civic participation and with suitable parks or pavements for walking and exercising. However, no significant association was found between community social capital or neighborhood built environment and homebound status for urban older adults.
Conclusion: Community social capital and neighborhood built environment were significantly associated with homebound status in older adults in rural areas.
Background: Lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) are a cause of inpatient and outpatient care among children. Although orofacial clefts seem to be associated with LRTIs, epidemiological studies are scarce on this topic. This study aimed to examine whether infants with orofacial clefts were associated with LRTIs.
Methods: This prospective cohort study used data from the Japan Environment and Children’s Study, for which baseline recruitment was conducted during 2011–2014. This study included 81,535 participants. The number of infants with cleft lip and palate (CLP), cleft lip (CL), and cleft palate only (CP) was 67, 49, and 36, respectively. We defined history of LRTIs until 12 months’ age reported by their mothers as the dependent variable. Accumulated breastfeeding duration was used as a potential mediator.
Results: The incidence proportion of LRTIs among the control group was 6.0%. The incidence proportion among infants with CLP, CL, and CP were 11.9%, 14.3%, and 5.6%, respectively. After adjusting for covariates, compared with the control group, infants with CLP and CL were associated with risk of LRTIs (incidence risk ratio [IRR] of CLP, 2.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.30–4.36 and IRR of CL, 2.73; 95% CI, 1.40–5.33), but not ones with CP (IRR 1.08; 95% CI, 0.28–4.15). Accumulated breastfeeding duration decreased the IRR of CLP only (IRR of CLP, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.19–3.93).
Conclusion: Infants with orofacial clefts aged 1 year have a potentially high incidence proportion of LRTIs. Accumulated breastfeeding duration might mediate the associations of CLP.
Background: The Great East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster forced the evacuation of residents and led to many changes in lifestyle for the evacuees. The Comprehensive Health Check was implemented to support the prevention of lifestyle-related disease and we analyzed the effect of prolonged evacuation (average of 3.0 years) on the new onset of hyper-LDL cholesterolemia.
Methods: The study participants were Japanese adults living near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture. Annual health checkups focusing on metabolic syndromes were conducted for persons ≥40 years by the Specific Health Checkup. Based on data from annual checkups from 2011 or 2012, we followed 18,670 participants without hyper-LDL cholesterolemia who underwent at least one other annual checkup during 2013–2015.
Results: We found that the new onset of hyper-LDL cholesterolemia was 31% higher in evacuees than in non-evacuees. Evacuees had a significantly higher prevalence of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, and higher frequency of weight change. Furthermore, logistic regression model analysis showed that the evacuation was significantly associated with the new onset of hyper-LDL cholesterolemia after adjusting age, gender, body mass index, smoking habit, alcohol consumption, diabetes, weight change, sleep deprivation, and exercise.
Conclusion: The findings of the present study suggest that prolonged evacuation after a disaster is a risk factor for the new onset of hyper-LDL cholesterolemia, and lead to an increase in cardiovascular disease. It is therefore important to follow-up evacuees and recommend lifestyle changes where necessary.
Background: Although previous research has focused on the association between long working hours and several mental health outcomes, little is known about the association in relation to mental health-related sickness absence, which is a measure of productive loss. We aimed to investigate the association between overtime work and the incidence of long-term sickness absence (LTSA) due to mental disorders.
Methods: Data came from the Japan Epidemiology Collaboration on Occupational Health Study (J-ECOH). A total of 47,422 subjects were followed-up in the period between April 2012 and March 2017. Information on LTSA was obtained via a study-specific registry. Baseline information was obtained at an annual health checkup in 2011; overtime working hours were categorized into <45; 45–79; 80–99; and ≥100 hours/month.
Results: During a total follow-up period of 211,443 person-years, 536 people took LTSA due to mental disorders. A Cox proportional hazards model showed that compared to those with less than 45 hours/month of overtime work, those with 45–79 hours/month were at a lower risk of LTSA due to mental health problems (hazard ratio [HR] 0.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56–0.71) while those with overtime work of ≥100 hours/month had a 2.11 (95% CI, 1.12–3.98) times higher risk of LTSA due to mental health problems.
Conclusion: Engaging in excessive overtime work was linked with a higher risk of LTSA due to mental health problems while the lower risk observed among individuals working 45–79 hours/month of overtime work might have been due to a healthy worker effect.
Background: Food access is an important aspect of health promotion for the elderly. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between distance to the nearest food store and diet variety in rural community-dwelling elderly Japanese.
Methods: This cross-sectional study analyzed data from 1,103 elderly participants surveyed by mail in rural areas of Japan. Diversity of food intake was assessed using the diet variety score (DVS). Street network distance from home to food store was calculated and categorized by quartile using a geographic information system and analyzed in relation to diet using multivariable regression with the primary outcome as low DVS. Sub-analysis of the association with DVS was conducted for each food store category (convenience store, supermarket, and small food store). The association between intake frequency of each food group and distance was also analyzed.
Results: Participants in the fourth quartile of distance to food store had significantly higher prevalence ratio (1.15; 95% CI, 1.01–1.32) for low DVS than those in the first quartile. There was a significant tendency between greater distance to food store and lower DVS (P for trend = 0.033). Supermarkets and convenience stores, in particular, showed significant associations. Greater distance was significantly associated with lower frequency of meat and fruit intake.
Conclusion: There was significant association between distance to nearest food store and diet variety in rural Japanese elderly. These findings suggest the importance of interventions for areas at high risk of low diet variety, such as places far away from food stores.