Poor Lifestyle Means Poor life Span
According to a new study published in April 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, people who have poor lifestyles that include smoking, drinking, poor diet and lack exercise are three times likely to die from cardiovascular disease and four times likely to die from cancer.
Though there have been many studies that have examined the individual effects of smoking, drinking, poor diet and lack of physical inactivity, this is the first study to examine all four and how it influences our health and life span.
This is an important study because people often engage in poor lifestyle choices that could shorten their life span. “To fully understand the public health impact of these behaviors, it is necessary to examine both their individual and combined impact on health outcomes,” Elisabeth Kvaavik, PhD, of the University of Oslo in Norway.
Kvaavik and her research team interviewed 4,886 randomly selected people aged 18 or older in 1984 to 1985 who lived in the United Kingdom. They then calculated a health behavior score by giving one point for each unhealthy behavior such as smoking, eating fruits and vegetables less than three times a day, exercising less than two hours a week, and drinking more than 14 units of alcohol per week for women, and more than 21 units per week for men.
Healthy behavior means longer life
The researchers interviewed people with the average age of 43.7 years at study entry, and the group was split fairly equally between men and women. The participants were tracked for two decades. Over the course of these 20 years, 1,080 participants died; 431 from cardiovascular disease, 318 from cancer, and 331 from other causes. The researchers found that compared with participants who did not have any unhealthy behaviors, the risk of death from all causes as well as from each cause increased substantially with each additional unhealthy behavior.
“Modest but achievable adjustments to lifestyle behaviors are likely to have a considerable impact at both the individual and population level,” the researchers conclude.
The study has clearly suggested that a healthy lifestyle offers people a longer lifespan. Eating right, exercising and not engaging in poor habits such as smoking and drinking, really can add years to your life.