The five things are: eating a healthy diet, not smoking, not drinking too much alcohol, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy body weight - the last one typically comes as a natural outcome of the others. All participants were from the U.S., and over the course of the roughly 30-year study period, researchers tracked their health and lifestyle habits, focusing especially on the five points mentioned above.
Each factor alone reduces the risk for cancer and heart disease but collectively could reduce the overall risk of death by 74-percent. She writes the Daily Dose for HealthCentral and is the editorial director at HealthCommunities.
Methods-Using data from the Nurses' Health Study (1980-2014; n=78 865) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2014, n=44 354), we defined 5 low-risk lifestyle factors as never smoking, body mass index of 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m, ≥30 min/d of moderate to vigorous physical activity, moderate alcohol intake, and a high diet quality score (upper 40%), and estimated hazard ratios for the association of total lifestyle score (0-5 scale) with mortality. For men, it meant an additional 37.6 years, compared to 25.5 years. Compared with people who adopted none of them, men and women who adhered to all five saw their life expectancy at 50 rise from 26 to 38 years and 29 to 43 years respectively, or an extra 12 years for men and 14 for women.
The study, the first comprehensive analysis of the impact of adopting low-risk lifestyle factors on life expectancy in the United States, is published online in the journal, Circulation.
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. Frank B. Hu, who chairs the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
"Our findings have significant public health implications, because they demonstrate the great potential of diet and lifestyle changes in improving life expectancy", said senior researcher Dr.
Despite being one of the wealthiest nations in the world, the U.S.is a long way down the list when it comes to life expectancy - in 2015, it ranked 31st.
Given that the habits of a healthy lifestyle are well known, the mystery is why we are so bad at adopting them, said Stampfer.
Funding for the study came from grants UM1 CA186107, R01 HL034594, R01 HL60712, R01 HL088521, P01 CA87969, UM1 CA167552, and R01 HL35464 from the National Institutes of Health.