Modifiable lifestyle behaviors and functional health in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk population study

Phyo K Myint, Paul G Surtees, Nicholas W J Wainwright, Nicholas J Wareham, Sheila A Bingham, Robert N Luben, Ailsa A Welch, Richard D Smith, Ian M Harvey, Kay-Tee Khaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between modifiable lifestyle behaviors and functional health.

METHOD: Population-based cross-sectional study in 16,678 men and women aged 40-79 years at baseline in 1993-1997 participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk cohort.

RESULTS: Smoking and physical inactivity were associated with poorer physical functional health, equivalent to being 7 years and 10-13 years older, respectively, and poorer mental functional health compared to non-smoking or being physically active. After adjusting for age, body mass index, social class, education, prevalent illness, and other lifestyles; men and women who currently smoke were more likely to report poor physical functional health compared to non-smokers {Odds Ratio (OR)=1.85 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.49, 2.30) and 1.56 (1.30, 1.87)} and poor mental functional health {1.38 (1.12, 1.70); 1.77 (1.51, 2.07)}, respectively. The OR for good physical function in those who were physically active compared to inactive was 1.67 (1.41, 1.97) in men and 1.63 (1.39, 1.91) in women. Moderate alcohol consumption was positively associated with good physical and mental functional health.

CONCLUSION: Modifiable behavioral factors are associated with substantial differences in the observed age-related decline in physical functional health and the prevalence of those in good and poor functional health in the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Neoplasms
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Smoking
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


Dive into the research topics of 'Modifiable lifestyle behaviors and functional health in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk population study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this