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These 5 Healthy Habits Could Help You Live A Decade More, A Study Suggests

    Abdulaziz Sobh
    By Abdulaziz Sobh

    Categories: Health


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    Do you want to prolong your life expectancy for more than a decade? A new study suggests that you can do that by following these five healthy habits: never smoke, maintain a healthy body mass index, maintain moderate to vigorous exercise, do not drink too much alcohol and eat a healthy diet.Adhering to those five lifestyle factors at age 50, compared to not adhering to any of them, was associated with an additional 14 years of life expectancy among women and an additional 12.2 years among men in the study, published in Circulation magazine on Monday.According to the study, each of those factors is significantly associated with a lower risk of death from the two main killers in the United States, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the US UU Each year, which is about one in four deaths, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. about 609,640 Americans are expected to die of cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society. "These are some of the main causes of premature death, so by preventing or reducing the incidence of these diseases, it promotes longevity and also improves survival after the diagnosis of these diseases," said Dr. Meir Stampfer, professor Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, which was a co-author of the study."We can do much better to have a long and healthy life through very simple minimum changes in our behavior, and only 8% of adults in our country are adhering to these," he said. "The main message that is taken home is that there are great advances in health and longevity that can be achieved with simple changes in our pattern of behavior, and as a country, I think we have to make it easier for us to do this. promoting smoking cessation, providing better environments for physical activity, etc. "Worldwide, EE. UU It ranks 43rd in terms of life expectancy at birth, with an average life expectancy of 80, according to the 2017 data from the World Factbook of the Central Intelligence Agency.The three countries with the highest life expectancy at birth are Monaco, with 89.4 years; Japan, with 85.3 years; and Singapore, with 85.2 years, according to that data.The countries with the lowest life expectancy at birth, according to these data, are Chad, with 50.6 years; Guinea-Bissau, 51 years old; and Afghanistan, with 51.7 years.The "surprising" impact of behaviors on longevity for the new study, the researchers measured the association between the five lifestyle factors and premature death using data from the National Nurses' Health Study and the Follow-up Study of Health Professionals. The data came from 1980 to 2014 and included more than 122,000 people combined.Then, the researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys to estimate the distribution of those modifiable lifestyle factors among adults in the United States. These data, from 2013 to 2014, consisted of 2,128 adults, from 50 to 80 years of age.
    The researchers also obtained American adult mortality rates using the CDC's powerful online database for the Epidemiologic Research database.After analyzing the data, the researchers found that, in 2014, the projected life expectancy at 50 years was to live 33.3 years more for women and 29.8 years more for men.
    However, among adults who reported that they adopted the five factors of healthy lifestyle, the researchers found that they lived 43.1 years more among women and 37.6 years more among men.Among the adults who reported that they did not meet any of the five healthy lifestyle factors, the researchers found that they lived only an additional 29 years among women and an additional 25.5 years among men."For me, the surprising result was how strong it was: what a big impact these simple behaviors could have on life expectancy," said Stampfer. "I was surprised it was that pronounced."Among women, on average, about 30.8% of life expectancy at 50 years that they obtained when adopting five, compared to zero, of those lifestyle factors was attributed to a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease ; 21.2% was attributed to a reduced risk of cancer and 48% to other causes of death.Among men, these percentages were 34.1% attributed to a lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, 22.8% attributed to a lower risk of cancer and 43.1% to other causes.The study had some limitations, including that data on adherence to the five lifestyle factors, was self-reported, which makes the result vulnerable to measurement errors.In addition, the data analysis did not include measures of certain health conditions that are risk factors for a shorter life expectancy, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.However, that limitation "is both a strength and a limitation, in a way ... because what we are estimating here is the prolongation of life expectancy based solely on behaviors," said Stampfer."Obviously, it's much better to do these healthy behaviors since childhood, really, but if you're over 50, over 60, over 70, it's not too late," he added.The factor that was seen as more "powerful" The findings should encourage and motivate people to adopt a healthier lifestyle, said Dr. Douglas Vaughan, chairman of the department of medicine at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, who was not involved in the study.Although the study highlighted how the combination of the five lifestyle factors could help prolong life expectancy, Vaughan noted how each individual factor was also associated with a lower risk of premature death."It seems that smoking cigarettes has a more powerful effect than other lifestyle changes or behaviors, and certainly maintaining a reasonable body mass index is an excellent way to protect against the development of diabetes," Vaughan said.The body mass index, a calculation derived from the weight and height of a person, is used as a tool for detecting body fat. Normally, it is said that a normal or healthy body mass index is between 18.5 and 24.9."Then, together, we see the effect on longevity, but you can imagine that it is mainly due to the effects on cardiovascular risk and metabolic risk," Vaughan said. "It suggests potentially at a definite point in life, say at age 50, if you stick to a healthy paradigm like this, you can have an impact on your longevity and your lifetime."Dr. Jack Der-Sarkissian, a family medicine physician and assistant medical director for the Kaiser Permanente area of Los Angeles Medical Center, said smoking is "the least-discussed health risk factor."Beyond the risk of cancer, smoking contributes to lung, heart and diabetic diseases." The study shows that even minimal smoking - from one to 14 cigarettes a day - is associated with an increase in mortality from cancer and heart disease. , said Der -Sarkissian, who did not participate in the new study.As for some of the other lifestyle factors, "getting weight below a BMI of 30 seems to help considerably, according to the study.A higher body weight is related to an increased risk of diabetes and cancer, among other related conditions. with obesity, "he said. He said. "The study suggests physical activity of at least 30 minutes a day of moderate or vigorous activities, which include brisk walking."