Associations of smoking and alcohol consumption with healthy ageing: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies
Objectives The number of older people is growing across the world; however, quantitative synthesis of studies examining the impact of lifestyle factors on the ageing process is rare. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies to synthesise the associations of smoking and alcohol consumption with healthy ageing (HA).Methods Major electronic databases were searched from inception to March 2017 (prospectively registered systematic reviews registration number CRD42016038130). Studies were assessed for methodological quality. Random-effect meta-analysis was performed to calculate pooled ORs and 95% CI.Results In total, we identified 28 studies (n=184 543); 27 studies reported results on smoking, 22 on alcohol consumption. 23 studies reported a significant positive association of never or former smoking with HA and 4 non-significant. 12 studies reported a significant positive association of alcohol consumption with HA, 9 no association and 1 negative. Meta-analysis revealed increased pooled OR of HA for never smokers compared with current smokers (2.36, 95% CI 2.03 to 2.75), never smokers compared with former smokers (1.32, 95% CI 1.23 to 1.41), former or never smokers compared with current smokers (1.72, 95% CI 1.20 to 2.47), never smokers compared with past or current smokers (1.29, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.43); drinkers compared with non-drinkers (1.28, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.52), light drinkers compared with non-drinkers (1.12, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.22), moderate drinkers compared with non-drinkers (1.35, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.97) and high drinkers compared with non-drinkers (1.25, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.44). There was considerable heterogeneity in the definition and measurement of HA and alcohol consumption.Conclusions There is consistent evidence from longitudinal studies that smoking is negatively associated with HA. The associations of alcohol consumption with HA are equivocal. Future research should focus on the implementation of a single metric of HA, on the use of consistent drinking assessment among studies and on a full-range of confounding adjustment. Our research also highlighted the limited research on ageing in low-and-middle-income countries.