J Epidemiol Community Health doi:10.1136/jech.2010.126698
  • Research report

Frequent shopping by men and women increases survival in the older Taiwanese population

Press Release
  1. Meei-Shyuan Lee2,3
  1. 1Division of Health Policy Research and Development, Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan, Miaoli County, Taiwan, ROC
  2. 2School of Public Health, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
  3. 3Asia Pacific Health and Nutrition Centre, Monash Asia Institute, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yu-Hung Chang, Division of Health Policy Research and Development, Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, 35 Keyan Road, Zhunan, Miaoli County 350 Taiwan, ROC; yhchang{at}
  1. Contributors YHC planned the study, supervised the data analysis and wrote the paper. RCYC performed all statistical analyses and helped to revise the paper. MW and MSL contributed to and revised the manuscript.

  • Accepted 2 February 2011
  • Published Online First 6 April 2011

Background Active ageing is a key to healthy ageing; shopping behaviour is an economically relevant activity of the elderly.

Methods Analysis was based on the NAHSIT 1999–2000 dataset. A total of 1841 representative free-living elderly Taiwanese people were selected and information included demographics, socioeconomic status, health behaviours, shopping frequencies, physical function and cognitive function. These data were linked to official death records. Cox proportional hazard models were used to evaluate shopping frequency on death from 1999–2008 with possible covariate adjustment.

Results Highly frequent shopping compared to never or rarely predicted survival (HR 0.54, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.67) with adjustment for physical function and cognitive function and other covariates HR was 0.73 (95% CI 0.56 to 0.93). Elderly who shopped every day have 27% less risk of death than the least frequent shoppers. Men benefited more from everyday shopping than women with decreased HR 28% versus 23% compared to the least.

Conclusion Shopping behaviour favourably predicts survival. Highly frequent shopping may favour men more than women. Shopping captures several dimensions of personal well-being, health and security as well as contributing to the community's cohesiveness and economy and may represent or actually confer increased longevity.


  • Funding This study was sponsored by the Department of Health and National Health Research Institutes (PH-PP22), Taiwan.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the National Health Research Institutes Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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