Consumption of alcohol, tobacco and lifestyles in the population over 50 years old: Perception of quality and satisfaction with life
Background: Within the scope of the MindFlex study, which aims to investigate the quality of life, positive development, acceptance and commitment, throughout the life of the Portuguese population, and in a preliminary approach, we focus our analysis on the relationship between the lifestyles associated with the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, hours of sleep, stress and the perception of health, quality, and satisfaction with life in people over 50 years old. The literature suggests the importance of healthy lifestyles in perception, satisfaction with life and highlights the negative impact of the consumption of addictive substances on quality of life, throughout life.
Methods: From a universe of 1174 people, we selected a sample of people aged between 50 and 75 years (n=275), of which 206 women (140 aged 50-59 years; 66 aged 60-75) and 69 men (41 aged 50-59 years; 28 aged 60-75).
Results: With regard to tobacco and alcohol consumption habits, the majority stated that they had not smoked (73.8%) or consumed alcoholic beverages (29.1%) in the last 30 days. Regarding sleep, 37.8% classified the quality of sleep as reasonably good. Although 74.5% of the sample stated that they did not have any chronic illness or health condition that had an impact on their daily lives, 54.2% of the respondents said they take medication every day. In terms of stress, 45.5% perceive high levels of daily stress, but 82.9% have a positive perception of the quality of their life and 73.5% are satisfied with their health.
Conclusions: Preliminary data suggest that although the majority of respondents do not present alarming indicators of alcohol and tobacco consumption, medication use and stress levels are high for the population that is in an active professional situation, highlighting the importance of being develop health education programs for the population over 50 years of age.