Thursday, 18 September 2014

Smoking, obesity and diabetes predicting the likelihood of living with disability in old age

A recent study has found that the cumulative effect of smoking, obesity and diabetes in midlife is equivalent to 20 years of ageing when predicting the likelihood of living free from disability in old age.

With the increased life expectancy achieved over the last century, the promotion of healthy ageing has become more and more relevant. According to a study led by SPHPM researcher Dr Evelyn Wong, disability is an indicator of overall health and encompasses different aspects of limitations in mobility or activities of daily living. Activities of daily living disability is considered the most severe form of disability and predicts dependence and admission to nursing homes.

Dr Evelyn Wong's study has used a unique derived risk algorithm which looks at key modifiable risk factors in mid-life such as obesity, diabetes and smoking, and quantifies their substantial combined impact on future disability.

The algorithm found that a 45-year-old man or woman with the combined risk factors of obesity, diabetes and smoking had a similar likelihood of ageing free of disability to a 65-year-old man or woman without any of the same risk factors. Demonstrating that the cumulative effect of smoking, obesity and diabetes in midlife on surviving free of disability to self-care activities of daily living is equivalent to 20 years of ageing.

Read the full study here.
 
 

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