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Most studies that have evaluated the association between combined lifestyle factors and mortality outcomes have been conducted in populations of Caucasian origin. The objective of this study was to examine the association between combined lifestyle scores and the risk of mortality in Korean men and women.
The study population included 59,941 Koreans, 30–84years of age, who had visited the Severance Health Promotion Center between 1994 and 2003. Cox regression models were fitted to establish the association between combined lifestyle factors (current smoker, heavy daily alcohol use, overweight or obese weight, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet) and mortality outcomes.
During 10.3years of follow-up, there were 2,398 cases of death from any cause. Individual and combined lifestyle factors were found to be associated with the risk of mortality. Compared to those having none or only one risk factor, in men with a combination of four lifestyle factors, the relative risk for cancer mortality was 2.04-fold, for non-cancer mortality 1.92-fold, and for all-cause mortality 2.00-fold. In women, the relative risk was 2.00-fold for cancer mortality, 2.17-fold for non-cancer mortality, and 2.09-fold for all-cause mortality. The population attributable risks for all-cause mortality for the four risk factors combined was 44.5% for men and 26.5% for women.
This study suggests that having a high (unhealthy) lifestyle score, in contrast to a low (healthy) score, can substantially increase the risk of death by any cause, cancer, and non-cancer in Korean men and women.