The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of social engagement and patterns of change in social engagement over time on mortality in a large population, aged 45 years or older. Data from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging from 2006 and 2012 were assessed using longitudinal data analysis. We included 8,234 research subjects at baseline (2006). The primary analysis was based on Cox proportional hazards models to examine our hypothesis. The hazard ratio of all-cause mortality for the lowest level of social engagement was 1.841-times higher (P < 0.001) compared with the highest level of social engagement. Subgroup analysis results by gender showed a similar trend. A six-class linear solution fit the data best, and class 1 (the lowest level of social engagement class, 7.6% of the sample) was significantly related to the highest mortality (HR: 4.780, P < 0.001). Our results provide scientific insight on the effects of the specificity of the level of social engagement and changes in social engagement on all-cause mortality in current practice, which are important for all-cause mortality risk. Therefore, protection from allcause mortality may depend on avoidance of constant low-levels of social engagement.
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