• Final report of the HALE (Healthy Ageing: a Longitudinal study in Europe) project

      Bogers RP; Tijhuis MAR; van Gelder BM; Kromhout D; PZO (Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu RIVMVGC/SVC, 2006-02-22)
      The HALE project showed an increase in Body Mass Index in the different age cohorts, suggesting that the current obesity epidemic went back as far as the 1960s. In some countries favorable changes in systolic blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels occurred. In general, low systolic blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels were related to a low cardiovascular diseases mortality risk. Consumption of a Mediterranean type of diet, moderate consumption of alcohol, non-smoking and regular physical activity were related to a lower mortality risk. These were taken both separately and in combination, the relationship was even stronger in the latter. In the elderly, health and functional status decreased with age, although in subsequent cohorts the proportion of healthy elderly has increased. Regular physical activity, moderate coffee consumption, being married, and living with others were all associated with a smaller cognitive decline in elderly men. The aim of the HALE project was to study changes in and determinants of usual and healthy ageing in 13 European countries. For this project longitudinal data were used of three international studies: the Seven Countries Study database (7047 men followed for 35 years in five European countries) and the combined database of the FINE and SENECA Study (3805 elderly men and women followed for 10 years in 12 European countries).