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Frequent Social Activity Tied to Longer Survival in Older Adults

Threshold effect seen with meaningful benefit for participating in social activity almost every day

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 9, 2023 (HealthDay News) — More frequent participation in social activity is associated with significantly longer overall survival in older people, according to a study published online March 6 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Ziqiong Wang, from Sichuan University West China Hospital, and colleagues examined the association between social activity frequency and overall survival using data from 28,563 participants in the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey.

The researchers found that more frequent social activity was associated with longer overall survival. For overall survival during five years of follow-up, adjusted time ratios (TRs) were 1.42 in the group participating in social activity not monthly but sometimes, 1.48 in the group participating not weekly but at least once/month, 2.10 in the group participating not daily but at least once/week, and 1.87 in the group participating in social activity almost every day versus never. From five years to up to 17 years of follow-up, adjusted TRs for overall survival were 1.05 in the group participating not monthly but sometimes, 1.64 in the group participating not weekly but at least once/month, 1.23 in the group participating not daily but at least once/week, and 3.04 in the group participating almost every day versus never.

“In order to achieve a long-term beneficial effect of social activity, policymakers should focus on the appropriate social interventions to enhance the daily social activity participation in older people, and thus contribute to successful aging in the era of global aging,” the authors write.

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