May 02: Maintaining five healthy habits -- eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy body weight, not drinking too much alcohol-limiting wine consumption to one glass (150 mL) for women and two glasses for men, and not smoking during adulthood may add more than a decade to life expectancy, according to a new study conducted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and reported in Circulation Journal on April 30
A new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 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. It is the first comprehensive analysis of the impact of adopting low-risk lifestyle factors on life expectancy in the U.S.
Americans have a shorter average life expectancy, 79.3 years than almost all other high-income countries, says the report.USA ranked 31st in the world for life expectancy in 2015. (India had a shorter life expectancy of 67.9 years in comparison),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. They looked at how five low-risk lifestyle factors -- not smoking, low body mass index (18.5-24.9 kg/m2), at least 30 minutes or more per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity, moderate alcohol intake (for example, up to about one 150 mL glass of wine per day for women, or up to 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 5 healthy habits gained, on average, 14 years of life, and men who did so 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 also found that there was a dose-response relationship between each individual healthy lifestyle behaviour and a reduced risk of early death, and that the combination of all five healthy behaviours was linked with the most additional years of life.
"This study underscores the importance of following healthy lifestyle habits for improving longevity in the U.S. population," said Frank Hu, chair person of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study. "However, adherence to healthy lifestyle habits is very low. Therefore, public policies should put more emphasis on creating healthy food, built, and social environments to support and promote healthy diet and lifestyles."
The Study was published on April 30 in the Circulation Journal. It can also be found in: where several interesting news on health can be found.
The School brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere. As a community of leading scientists, educators, and students, they work together to take innovative ideas from the laboratory to people’s lives.
Every year, more than 400 faculty members at Harvard Chan School teach 1,000-plus full-time students from around the world and train thousands more through online and executive education courses. Founded in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School of Health Officers, the School is recognized as America’s oldest professional training program in public health.
It’s high time Indian government and bureaucracy takes note of the Study in the US and recognize the importance of moderate wine drinking for healthy life-style and to possibly increase life-expectancy, the belief of the Hindu majority that each person’s life and the number of breaths having been pre-ordained, notwithstanding-editor
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