, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 351-358
Date: 28 Oct 2004

Leisure time sports activity and all-cause mortality in West Germany (1984–1998)

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Abstract

Background

Current data and available studies suggest that regular physical activity decreases overall mortality. In Germany corresponding findings are scarce. The aim of this data analysis was to clarify this issue for a German sample in men and women.

Methods

A total of 3,742 males and 3,445 females aged 30–69, who participated in a baseline questionnaire in 1984–1986, were followed-up to the year 1998.

Results

During the follow-up period, 300 women and 643 men died. The multivariate rate ratios (RR) for accumulated hours of leisure time sports activities (LTSA) per week and with an LTSA-index based on METs per week with the reference of sedentary lifestyle, showed a clearly protective impact in a dose-response relationship (p for trend <0.05). Similar trends were observed in women and men. More than 2 hours of LTSA per week produced a RR of 0.70 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.54–0.91) in men and 0.57 (95% CI: 0.35–0.94) in women. In the group with the highest LTSA-index, the RR was 0.61 (95% CI: 0.44–0.84) in men and 0.46 (95% CI: 0.25–0.85) in women.

Conclusion

LTSA is inversely associated with all-cause mortality in females and males.