Physical Activity and Mortality among Middle-Aged and Older Adults across Racial and Ethnic Groups in the United States

Lifeng Li, University of Texas-Pan American
Dejun Su, University of Texas-Pan American

Physical activity (PA) has been routinely linked to lower all-cause mortality, yet extant research is primarily based on non-representative samples and how the PA-mortality link may vary across racial/ethnic groups or across PA intensity levels remain largely unknown. Using longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), this study assessed the group-specific effects of vigorous and moderate PA on mortality among 6,870 non-Hispanic whites, 1,635 non-Hispanic blacks, and 886 Hispanics who aged 51 to 61 in 1992 and followed up to 2008. Life table and Cox Proportional Hazard analyses were performed to test our hypotheses. After adjusting for demographics, socioeconomic status, and health conditions at the baseline, the prospective preventive effects of PA against mortality are generally consistent across the three racial/ethnic groups, with the prospective benefit of vigorous PA considerably greater than that of moderate PA. Vigorous PA is an effective preventive measure against mortality across the board.

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Presented in Poster Session 7