More Steps Tied to Lower Death Risk in Older Women

Association between steps, mortality leveled off at approximately 7,500 steps/day

THURSDAY, May 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- More steps taken per day are associated with lower mortality rates among older women, according to a study published online May 29 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

I-Min Lee, M.B.B.S., Sc.D., from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues used data from 16,741 U.S. women (mean age, 72 years) participating in the Women's Health Study who were compliant wearers of an accelerometer during waking hours for seven days between 2011 and 2015.

The researchers report that during a mean follow-up of 4.3 years, 504 women died. Across low-to-high quartiles, median steps per day were 2,718, 4,363, 5,905, and 8,442, respectively. Adjusting for potential confounders, the corresponding quartile hazard ratios associated with mortality were 1.00 (reference), 0.59, 0.54, and 0.42, respectively. Hazard ratios progressively declined with higher mean steps per day until approximately 7,500 steps/day, after which they leveled. Higher step intensities were associated with significantly lower mortality rates in an unadjusted analysis. But when adjusting for steps per day, associations were no longer significant.

"Among older women, as few as approximately 4,400 steps/day was significantly related to lower mortality rates compared with approximately 2,700 steps/day," the authors write.

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