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Cooking frequency may enhance survival in Taiwanese elderly

  • Rosalind Chia-Yu Chen (a1), Meei-Shyuan Lee (a2) (a3), Yu-Hung Chang (a4) and Mark L Wahlqvist (a1) (a2) (a3)
Abstract
Abstract Objective

To investigate the association between cooking behaviour and long-term survival among elderly Taiwanese.

Design

Cohort study. The duration of follow-up was the interval between the date of interview and the date of death or 31 December 2008, when censored for survivors. Information used included demographics, socio-economic status, health behaviours, cooking frequencies, physical function, cognitive function, nutrition knowledge awareness, eating out habits and food and nutrient intakes. These data were linked to death records. Cox proportional-hazards models were used to evaluate cooking frequency on death from 1999 to 2008 with related covariate adjustments.

Setting

Elderly Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan, 1999–2000.

Subjects

Nationally representative free-living elderly people aged ≥65 years (n 1888).

Results

During a 10-year follow-up, 695 participants died. Those who cooked most frequently were younger, women, unmarried, less educated, non-drinkers of alcohol, non-smokers, without chewing difficulty, had spouse as dinner companion, normal cognition, who walked or shopped more than twice weekly, who ate less meat and more vegetables. Highly frequent cooking (>5 times/week, compared with never) predicted survival (hazard ratio (HR) = 0·47; 95 % CI, 0·36, 0·61); with adjustment for physical function, cognitive function, nutrition knowledge awareness and other covariates, HR was 0·59 (95 % CI, 0·41, 0·86). Women benefited more from cooking more frequently than did men, with decreased HR, 51 % v. 24 %, when most was compared with least. A 2-year delay in the assessment of survivorship led to similar findings.

Conclusions

Cooking behaviour favourably predicts survivorship. Highly frequent cooking may favour women more than men.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email profmlw@nhri.org.tw
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Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
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