Promoting the well-being of rural elderly people for longevity among different birth generations: A healthy lifestyle perspective

Author: Xian Li1, Min Gao1, Meijie Chu1, Shiling Huang1, Zhiwei Fang1, Tianmu Chen1, Chun-Yang Lee2, Yi-Chen Chiang1
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> State Key Laboratory of Molecular Vaccinology and Molecular Diagnostics, School of Public Health, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China. <sup>2</sup> School of International Business, Xiamen University Tan Kah Kee College, Zhangzhou, China.
Conference/Journal: Front Public Health
Date published: 2023 Feb 23
Other: Volume ID: 11 , Pages: 1050789 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1050789. , Word Count: 332

Wellbeing may have a protective role in health maintenance. However, no specific study clarified the particular protective effect of the subjective wellbeing of rural elderly people on survival probability. Few studies have examined the effect of the lifestyle of rural elderly people on their subjective wellbeing from different perspectives. We investigated whether improving subjective wellbeing increased the probability of longevity of rural elderly people and the effects of lifestyle behaviors on the subjective wellbeing of rural elderly people in different birth generations.

Materials and methods:
Data were derived from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS), which is an ongoing open cohort study that adopts a multistage, random clustered sampling process. We used the data of elderly people who were aged 65 or over during 2006-2015 for analysis. The Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test found that the survival probability of rural elderly people was significantly lower than urban elderly people. Based on a sample of rural elderly people, Cox regression and generalized estimating equations were performed as further analyses.

A total of 892 rural elderly people aged 65 or over were included in the sample in 2006. High subjective wellbeing was a protective factor against death. The subjective wellbeing of rural elderly people born in the 1940s/1930s/1908-1920s birth generations first decreased then increased. For rural elderly people born in the 1940s, there were significant positive effects of a preference for eating vegetables and walking/Tai Chi on subjective wellbeing. For rural elderly people born in the 1930s, preferences for eating vegetables, reading, and watching TV all had significant positive effects on subjective wellbeing. Rural elderly people born in the 1908-1920s who preferred watching TV had more subjective wellbeing.

Improving subjective wellbeing extended the life span and reduced mortality risk in rural elderly people and may be achieved by the shaping of a healthy lifestyle, such as preferences for eating vegetables, walking/Tai Chi, and reading.

Keywords: cohort study; lifestyle; longevity; rural elderly; subjective wellbeing.

PMID: 36908453 PMCID: PMC9995922 DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1050789