Life Habits To Make You Live Longer

Image for representational purpose only

Image for representational purpose only

"Prevention, through diet and lifestyle modifications, has enormous benefits in terms of reducing occurrence of chronic diseases, improving life expectancy as shown in this study, and reducing healthcare costs".

Americans have one of the shortest life expectancy among the world's high-income countries, the authors state in their paper.

New US research has found that sticking to five healthy habits throughout adulthood, including eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, no smoking, and not too much alcohol, could together add more than ten years to life expectancy.

Harvard researchers discovered that adherence to five lifestyle practices is associated with more than 10 years of increased longevity, as well as reduced risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Over the course of almost 34 and 27 years of follow-up of women and men, respectively, a total of 42,167 deaths were recorded, of which 13,953 were due to cancer and another 10,689 were due to cardiovascular disease.

If a person follows those five life habits from the age of 50 onward, as opposed to not following those habits at all, the life of a person can be extended 14 additional years for women and 12.2 additional years for men. The researchers looked at how five low-risk lifestyle factors - not smoking, low body mass index (18.5-24.9 kg/m), at least 30 minutes or more per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity, moderate alcohol intake (for example, up to about one 5-ounce glass of wine per day for women, or up to two glasses for men), and a healthy diet - might impact mortality. We used data from the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys; 2013-2014) to estimate the distribution of the lifestyle score and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention WONDER database to derive the agespecific death rates of Americans.

Researchers found that who didn't adopt any of the low-risk lifestyle factors, the life expectancy at 50 years was 29 years for women and 25.5 years for men.

Researchers point out that the US healthcare system focuses heavily on drug discovery and disease management; however, a greater emphasis on prevention could change this life expectancy trend.

So, women who stuck to all five low-risk health habits lived an average of 14 years longer than women who followed none of them, and for men, this gain was 12 years.

"Adopting a healthy lifestyle could substantially reduce premature mortality and prolong life expectancy in USA adults".

"These are some of the leading causes of premature death, so by preventing or reducing the incidence of those diseases, it promotes longevity, and it also improves survival after diagnosis of those diseases", Dr. Meir Stampfer, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and co-author of the study told CNN.

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