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Sitting-time and 9-year all-cause mortality in older women
  1. Toby G Pavey1,
  2. GMEE (Geeske) Peeters1,2,
  3. Wendy J Brown1
  1. 1School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Toby Pavey, School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, St. Lucia Campus, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia; t.pavey{at}uq.edu.au

Abstract

Background Studies of mid-aged adults provide evidence of a relationship between sitting-time and all-cause mortality, but evidence in older adults is limited. The aim is to examine the relationship between total sitting-time and all-cause mortality in older women.

Methods The prospective cohort design involved 6656 participants in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health who were followed for up to 9 years (2002, age 76–81, to 2011, age 85–90). Self-reported total sitting-time was linked to all-cause mortality data from the National Death Index from 2002 to 2011. Cox proportional hazard models were used to examine the relationship between sitting-time and all-cause mortality, with adjustment for potential sociodemographic, behavioural and health confounders.

Results There were 2003 (30.1%) deaths during a median follow-up of 6 years. Compared with participants who sat <4 h/day, those who sat 8–11 h/day had a 1.45 times higher risk of death and those who sat ≥11 h/day had a 1.65 times higher risk of death. These risks remained after adding sociodemographic and behavioural covariates, but were attenuated after adjustment for health covariates. A significant interaction (p=0.02) was found between sitting-time and physical activity (PA), with increased mortality risk for prolonged sitting only among participants not meeting PA guidelines (HR for sitting ≥8 h/day: 1.31, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.61); HR for sitting ≥11 h/day: 1.47, CI 1.15 to 1.93).

Conclusions Prolonged sitting-time was positively associated with all-cause mortality. Women who reported sitting for more than 8 h/day and did not meet PA guidelines had an increased risk of dying within the next 9 years.

  • Epidemiology

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