Medicine

5 healthy habits proven to increase life expectancy

5 healthy habits proven to increase life expectancy”

Although the study involved only American participants, health researchers say its findings are likely to be relevant to populations worldwide with a few necessary tweaks. Those who followed these lifestyle habits were 82 percent likely to have died from cardiovascular disease and 65 percent less likely to die from cancer within the study's follow-up period.

Stampfer and colleagues identified the five healthy habits as having a body mass index of between 18.5 and 25, engaging in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily, not smoking, drinking up to only one 150ml glass of wine daily for women, and two for men; and a diet low in saturated fats, sugar and red meat but rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

The average life expectancy for Americans is 79 years - lower when compared to residents of nearly all other high-income countries.

A new study published Monday in the American Heart Association's Circulation journal suggests people need to follow five lifestyle habits to increase their life expectancy by more than 10 years.

The study found that those who adhered to those five factors at age 50, compared to those who didn't, were associated with an additional 14 years of life expectancy for women, and an additional 12.2 years for men.

"Adopting a healthy lifestyle could substantially reduce premature mortality and prolong life expectancy in USA adults", the authors write. Its authors included researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. For women, it meant an additional 43 years for the healthiest group, compared to 29 years. The results of the study suggest that following these habits can extend your life by a decade. The population-attributable risk for non-adherence to five low-risk factors was 60.7, 51.7, and 71.7 percent, respectively, for all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular mortality.

"Public policies should put more emphasis on creating healthy food, built, and social environments to support and promote healthy diet and lifestyles".

The researchers performed the analysis in the hope of understanding why the United States, which spends more on healthcare as a proportion of GDP than any other nation, ranks 31st in the world for life expectancy at birth.

Funding for the study came from grants UM1 CA186107, R01 HL034594, R01 HL60712, R01 HL088521, P01 CA87969, UM1 CA167552, and R01 HL35464 from the National Institutes of Health.



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