5 healthy habits that will prolong your life
Regular exercise, following a healthy diet, not smoking, not becoming overweight, and drinking only moderate amounts of alcohol could all lengthen life at age 50 for women by 14 years and for men by 12 years.
This was the conclusion of the first study to thoroughly analyse the relationship between “low-risk lifestyle factors” and life expectancy in the United States. A paper on the research is shortly to be published in the journal Circulation.
To what extent could a focus on prevention help to raise life expectancy in the U.S., which finds itself averaging 79.3 years, compared with Japan’s 83.7?
Senior study author Frank B. Hu – a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard T.H Chan School – and colleagues, set out to find answers by investigating the effect of modifiable health factors.
They chose to focus on “smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, poor diet and obesity,” because an analysis of 15 studies covering more than half a million people in 17 nations had concluded that these “unhealthy lifestyle factors” could account for around 60 percent of premature deaths.
The new study used data from 78,865 women over 34 years and from 44,354 men over 27 years.
Bringing all the results together, the researchers found that women who did not follow any of the five low-risk factors had a life expectancy of 29 years at age 50, compared with 43.1 years for those who adopted all five.
There was a similar pattern for men, with those who did not adopt any of the five factors having a life expectancy of 25.5 years at age 50, compared with 37.6 years for those who adopted all of them.
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