Five Healthy Lifestyle Habits Could Add >10 Years to Life

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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. Among women, the five lifestyle factors were linked to 14 years of additional life expectancy.

Researchers led by Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health also found that USA women and men who maintained the healthiest lifestyles were 82 per cent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 65 per cent less likely to die from cancer when compared with those with the least healthy lifestyles over the course of the roughly 30-year study period.

Both men and women having a significantly lower life expectancy than their counterparts in other parts of the world.

Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the average American has a shorter life expectancy compared to other wealthy countries, such as Japan, Canada, and Norway.

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According to the World Health Organization, life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 76.9 and 81.6 years old for United States men and women respectively. For adults with five versus zero low-risk factors, the multivariable adjusted hazard ratios were 0.26, 0.35, and 0.18 for all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular disease mortality, respectively. The new study aimed to quantify how much healthy lifestyle factors might be able to boost longevity in the U.S. Specifically, they looked at how the following five behaviors affected a person's longevity: not smoking, eating a healthy diet (diet score in the top 40 percent of each cohort), regularly exercising (30+ minutes a day of moderate to vigorous activity), keeping a healthy body weight (18.5-24.9 kg/m), and moderate alcohol consumption (5-15 g/day for women, 5-30 g/day for men).

A study conducted by researchers from Harvard University has revealed that people who stick to five healthy habits in adulthood may be able to extend their lifespan by over a decade.

Given that the habits of a healthy lifestyle are well known, the mystery is why we are so bad at adopting them, said Stampfer. We aim to estimate the impact of lifestyle factors on premature mortality and life expectancy in the USA population. Its authors included researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "Therefore, public policies should put more emphasis on creating healthy food, built, and social environments to support and promote healthy diet and lifestyles".

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