Purpose To examine prospectively the association between physical activity and risk of all-cause death in Japanese population.
Methods We analysed data from the Japan Collaborative Cohort (JACC) Study, which included 70 048 participants (29 550 men and 40 498 women), aged 40–79 years at baseline (1988–1990), who reported no previous history of cancer, and provided information on their walking and exercise habits. The subjects were followed prospectively from enrolment until 2003. Physical activity was evaluated using the time spent walking per day, and that spent exercising per week. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate the HR for the association.
Results During the 1 001 870 person-years of follow-up, we identified 12 051 deaths. Both among men and women, exercise was associated with lower mortality with a linear trend. The most physically active group (who walked for ≥1 h/day and exercised for ≥3 h/week) had a lower risk of death (HR =0.67, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.73 for men, and HR =0.75, 95% CI 0.67 to 0.84 for women) compared with the least active group after adjusting for potential confounding factors. The results were not changed after excluding the deaths within first 2 years. The effect of physical activity on mortality was stronger among older subjects among men and women.
Conclusions Our analysis provided evidence that physical activity decreased the risk of all cause of death.
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