Healthy diet prolongs cardiometabolic disease-free life expectancy in old age
An association exists between healthier dietary habits and cardiometabolic disease-free life expectancy between ages 50 and 85 years, according to a study.
The authors assessed the diet quality of 8,041 participants of the Whitehall II cohort study using the Alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010 (AHEI-2010) in 1991–1994, 1997–1999 and 2002–2004. For each participant, they used the measurement of diet quality closest to age 50 years. Repeat measures of cardiometabolic disease (ie, coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes) were utilized from the first observation when participants were aged ≥50 years.
Finally, the authors estimated total and sex-specific cardiometabolic disease-free life expectancy from age 50 to 85 years for each AHEI-2010 quintile, where the lowest quintile represents the unhealthiest habits and the highest quintile the healthiest, using multistate life table models with covariates age, gender, occupational position, smoking, physical activity and alcohol consumption.
Cardiometabolic disease-free life-years after age 50 years stood at 23.9 years (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 23.0–24.9 years) for participants with the healthiest diet, corresponding to a higher score on the AHEI-2010, and at 21.4 years (95 percent CI, 20.6–22.3 years) for participants with the unhealthiest diet.
A dose-response pattern was seen in the association between diet quality and cardiometabolic disease-free life expectancy, which was found in subgroups of participants of different occupational position, body mass index, physical activity level and smoking habit, as well as when those without cardiometabolic disease at baseline were excluded from the analyses.
“Poor diet quality has been linked to increased risk of many chronic diseases and premature mortality,” the authors noted.