In adulthood, a lifestyle that includes 5 good habits can extend life expectancy by 14 years for women and 12 years for men. And these gestures are within everyone’s reach.
A study, the results of which were relayed by the American Heart Association, reveal that simple lifestyle advice (healthy diet, regular exercise, watching your weight, drinking alcohol in moderation or not smoking) already make a serious difference to longevity.
Life expectancy: prevention rather than drugs
The USA is one of the richest countries in the world, but Americans have a shorter life expectancy than other high-income countries, such as Japan, Canada or Norway. Heart disease and stroke are indeed the leading contributors to premature death in this country, with 2,300 Americans dying from cardiovascular disease every day, or one death every 38 seconds.
The researchers of this study point out that the American healthcare system is heavily focused on finding drugs and treating disease. However, greater importance given to prevention could have a positive impact on life expectancy, which this new study aims to demonstrate.
More life expectancy, fewer cancers and cardiovascular diseases
In order to estimate the impact of lifestyle factors on the population the researchers analyzed mortality data from the Nurses’ Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) as well than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Specifically, they looked at how the following 5 behaviors affect a person’s longevity:
- NO SMOKING
- Eat healthy )
- Exercise regularly (30 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous activity)
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Have a moderate alcohol consumption (5-15 g/day for women, 5-30 g/day for men)
Overall, compared to people who followed none of the 5 lifestyle habits, those who followed all 5 had a 74% lower risk of dying prematurely during the follow-up period (27 years for men, 34 years for women).
In addition, a lifestyle combining the 5 healthy gestures was also associated with an 82% reduction in the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and 65% of dying from cancer.
Between 1940 and 2014, life expectancy at birth for Americans rose from 63 years to nearly 79 years. However, the researchers believe that the improvement in life expectancy would be even greater without the widespread high prevalence of obesity and with the adoption of these 5 lifestyle habits.
Yanping Li Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US Population. Traffic.