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Living longer  

redmustang91 60M  
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5/16/2018 11:57 am
Living longer


Five healthy habits -- eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy body weight, not drinking too much alcohol, and not<b> smoking </font></b>-- during adulthood may add more than a decade to life expectancy, according to a new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Researchers also found that U.S. women and men who maintained the healthiest lifestyles were 82% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 65% 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.

Americans have a shorter average life expectancy -- 79.3 years -- than almost all other high-income countries. The U.S. ranked 31st in the world for life expectancy in 2015. The new study aimed to quantify how much healthy lifestyle factors might be able to boost longevity in the U.S.

Harvard Chan researchers and colleagues looked at 34 years of data from 78,865 women and 27 years of data from 44,354 men participating in, respectively, the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The researchers looked at how five low-risk lifestyle factors -- not smoking, low body mass index (18.5-24.9 BM, at least 30 minutes daily moderate physical activity, moderate alcohol intake (up to one 5-ounce glass of wine per day for women, or two glasses for men), and a healthy diet -- might impact mortality.

For study participants who didn't adopt any of the low-risk lifestyle factors, the researchers estimated that life expectancy at age 50 was 29 years for women and 25.5 years for men. But for those who adopted all five low-risk factors, life expectancy at age 50 was projected to be 43.1 years for women and 37.6 years for men. In other words, women who maintained all five healthy habits gained, on average, 14 years of life, and men who did gained 12 years, compared with those who didn't maintain healthy habits.

Compared with those who didn't follow any of the healthy lifestyle habits, those who followed all five were 74% less likely to die during the study period. The researchers found that each healthy lifestyle behavior reduced risk of early death. Combining all five healthy behaviors linked with most additional years of life.

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