Active and Receptive Arts Participation and Their Association with Mortality Among Adults in the U.S.


Epidemiological studies on the arts are not common in the United States, especially studies on active engagement by older adults.  This national study addressed associations between arts participation and mortality, including both passive and active participation.  It was based on data from the Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal panel survey that is following representative Americans over age 50 into retirement.  Data is collected biennially through in-person or phone interviews and online surveys with questions about changes in health, economics and social structures. On the off years, a mail survey is distributed relating to time use, including arts participation, and special  topics questionnaires are sent to a random subsample of respondents and collected with core data. For this study, two cohort groups, referred to as the 2012 and 2014 cohorts, were selected for analysis.  Researchers concluded that, “Engagement in the arts was associated with lower risk of mortality even after risk adjustment, especially for adults aged ≥65 years.”

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subject terms

Aging & Longevity

Aging & Longevity > Health

Aging & Longevity > Lifelong Learning

Aging & Longevity > Positive Aging

Aging & Longevity > Retirement

Aging & Longevity > Vitality & Wellness

Creative Aging > Creative Expression


Dawn Bravata

Kristin Story

Ziyi Yang

related organization

National Library of Medicine

resource type

Research and Studies