Background: Unhealthy lifestyle factors, such as obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and physical inactivity, are associated with increased morbidity and mortality risk, even in older age. We investigated trends in lifestyle among three cohorts of adults aged 55-64 years from the Netherlands.
Methods: Data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam were used. This study consisted of three randomly selected samples of men and women. Lifestyle data were collected in 1992/1993 (cohort 1, n = 988), in 2002/2003 (cohort 2, n = 1002) and in 2012/2013 (cohort 3, n = 1023). Trends in lifestyle across cohorts were tested using multivariable regression analyses.
Results: Complete lifestyle data were available for 834 participants from cohort 1, 861 from cohort 2 and 845 from cohort 3. Among men, but not in women, mean BMI and prevalence of obesity increased over time. The mean minutes per day spent being physically active decreased among both men and women, from 130 ± 107 and 230 ± 122 (1992/1993) to 114 ± 100 and 192 ± 109 (2002/2003), and 126 ± 98 and 187 ± 112 (2012/2013), respectively. The percentage of men and women defined as excessive drinkers (>7 alcoholic consumptions per week) increased from 54.9%, 62.3% to 65.4% (men) and 22.7%, 36.1% to 37.4% (women), in 1992/1993, 2002/2003 and 2012/2013, respectively. The percentage of non-smoking men and women increased over time.
Conclusion: The lifestyle of Dutch adults aged 55-64 years was less healthy in 2012/2013 compared with 2002/2003 and 1992/1993. Political attention regarding healthy ageing should target the prevention of overweight, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol consumption in middle-aged persons.