Health & Wellness

Lifestyle and Long-Term Care 

By Wendy Haaf


Maintaining healthy habits in your early 60s may substantially decrease your odds of needing nursing-home care later in life.

Researchers reviewed lifestyle questionnaires from 127,108 people aged 60 or older who had enrolled in an Australian study between 2006 and 2009. Based on smoking status, physical-activity levels, sleep patterns, eating patterns, and time spent sitting, participants were deemed low, medium, or high risk. Over an average follow-up period of 10 years, 23,094 participants were admitted to a long-term care (LTC) facility. In the high-risk group, the rate of LTC admission was 43% higher than among those at lowest risk.

Lifestyle factors from age 60 to 64 appeared to have a particularly powerful impact: the “least healthy” label was linked with a greater than twofold increase in risk for LTC admission.

Source: Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health