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Friday, August 12, 2011

Lifestyle behaviours and quality-adjusted life years in middle and older age

To examine the relationship between combined lifestyle behaviours and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) in a general population.

A population-based study was conducted in 13,358 men and women who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk (baseline 1993–97). A score of 1 was given to each of non-smoking, physically not inactive, moderate alcohol consumption (1–14 units) and consumption of at least five portions of fruit and vegetables (vitamin C level ≥50 ┬Ámol/l). Short-Form Six-Dimension (SF-6D) health utility index scores were derived from the SF-36. QALYs were estimated up to follow-up (July 2007).

A total of 13,358 men and women were eligible to be included in the study (aged 40–79 years at baseline). A total of 12,921 people were alive at follow-up (117, 784 person-years). Mean follow-up period was ∼11.5 years. 437 (4.4% of men and 2.4% of women) died. The death rate was 6.5 times higher in people with health behaviour score 0 compared with those who scored 4 (8.4 versus 1.3%). People with higher scores had significantly higher QALYs.

Our findings support the view that modifiable lifestyle factors are an important component in health improvement.

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