University of Oulu

Urtamo, A., Jyväkorpi, S.K., Kautiainen, H. et al. Major cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in midlife and extreme longevity. Aging Clin Exp Res 32, 299–304 (2020).

Major cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in midlife and extreme longevity

Saved in:
Author: Urtamo, Annele1; Jyväkorpi, Satu K.1; Kautiainen, Hannu1;
Organizations: 1Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Unit of Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2Clinicum, and Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
3Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-02-26


Background: The studies on the association of various midlife risk factors with reaching 90 years or more are scarce. We studied this association in a socioeconomically homogenous cohort of businessmen.

Methods: The study consists of men (n = 970) from the Helsinki Businessmen Study cohort (born 1919–1928). Five major cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors (smoking, BMI, blood pressure, serum lipids, fasting glucose), consumption of alcohol and coffee, self-rated health and self-rated fitness, were assessed in 1974, at an average age of 50 years. The number of major risk factors was tested as a risk burden. The Charlson Comorbidity Index and the RAND-36 (SF-36) Physical and Mental health summary scores were calculated from surveys in year 2000, at age of 73 years. Mortality dates were retrieved through 31 March 2018 from the Population Information System of Finland.

Results: 244 men survived to the age of 90 representing 25.2% of the study cohort. The survivors had less risk factor burden in midlife, and less morbidity and higher physical health summary score in 2000. Of those with five major risk factors only 7% survived up to 90 years, whereas 51% of those without any risk factors reached that age. Single risk factors reducing odds of reaching 90 years were smoking (odds ratio [OR] 0.48, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.34–0.67), glucose (0.66, 0.49–0.88), BMI (0.63, 0.46–0.86), and cholesterol (0.71, 0.53–0.96).

Conclusion: Lack of five major CVD risk factors in midlife strongly increased odds of reaching 90 years of age and also predicted factors related to successful ageing in late life.

see all

Series: Aging clinical and experimental research
ISSN: 1594-0667
ISSN-E: 1720-8319
ISSN-L: 1594-0667
Volume: 32
Pages: 299 - 304
DOI: 10.1007/s40520-019-01364-7
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: This study was supported by Helsinki University Hospital VTR (EVO), funding and Academy of Finland (311492).
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.