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Leading a healthy lifestyle can increase your life expectancy by up to 7 years

People who do not smoke, inhale smoke, are not obese, eat a healthy diet with a healthy lifestyle and consume alcohol in moderation, can expect to live seven years longer than the population. the majority of people who are in this group, live these extra years in good health.



A new study published today in Health Affairs shows that people who refrain from engaging in high-risk health practices is not simply living a  longer life — longer than the famously long-lived Japanese — but that most of these additional years of life are spent in good health.



The study, which analyzed data for more than 14,000 U.S. men, found that never-smokers who were not obese lived 4-5 yrs longer than the populations, and that these extra years were free of disability. 


The results of the analysis further indicated that individuals who likewise drank alcohol reasonably lived seven more disability-free yrs than the general population, and had a total life expectancy surpassing that of entire populations of Japan, a country that is often considered to be a vanguard of life expectancy. 


The study was conducted by Mikko Myrskyla, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany; and Neil Mehta, Professor of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan, USA.



Several practices have a cumulative affect.

Improvements in medical technology are often thought to be the gatekeeper to healthier, longer life. We showed that a health lifestyle, which overheads nothing, is enough to enable individuals to enjoy a very long and healthy life ,” said Mikko Myrskyla.


He added:” A moderately healthy life-style is enough to get the benefits. Evading becoming obese , not smoking, and devouring alcohol reasonably is not an unrealistic goal .”


This study was the first to analyze the cumulative impact of several key health practices on disability-free and total life expectancy. Previous studies have looked at single health actions.

Mikko Myrskyla and his honourable colleagues instead examined several behaviours simultaneously, which allowed them to determine how long and healthy the lives of people who had avoided most of the well-known individual behavioral risk factors were.


Smoking, consuming excess alcohol and obesity alter health when aging

The researchers noticed … … that each of the 3 unhealthy actions — obesity, smoking, and excessive intake of alcohol — was linked to a reduction in life expectancy and to an earlier occasion of disabilities.


There were also differences: passive smoking was found to be associated with an early death but not with an increase in the number of years with physical disabilities, whereas obesity was shown to be associated with a long period of time with disability. 


Excessive alcohol consumption was found to be associated with both declined lifespan and a reduced number of healthy years. Nonetheless, the absence of all of these risky unhealthy behaviours was found to be associated with the greatest number of healthy years.


The most striking determination was the uncovering of a large difference in median lifespan between the groups who were the most and the least at risk. Men who were not overweight, had never inhaled smoke moderately were found to live an average rate of 11 years longer than men who were overweight, had inhaled, and drink overly.

For women, the gap between these two groups was found to be even greater, at 12 years.

” The most positive cause is that the number of years that we have to live with physical limitations does not increase as we gain more years through a healthy lifestyle. Instead, a healthy lifestyle is associated with a strong increase in physically fit years. In other statements, the years we gain through a healthy life-style are years in good health ,” said Mikko Myrskyla.

” Our causes show how important it is to focus on prevention.


Those who avoid risky health behaviours are achieving far longer and healthier lives. Effective policy interventions targeting health actions were gonna help bigger fractions of the population to achieve the health benefits observed in this study ,” health researchers emphasized.


These results are important not only for individuals, but likewise for society. In an aging society, the health of the elderly determines the amount of money spent on the health system. In addition, healthier elderly people are in a far better position to be able to participate in the labour market and to perform social roles, such as caring for grandchildren etc.

The researchers used data that was gained by a long-term study that was implemented by the U.S. The Health and Retirement Study, which covered more than 14,000 individuals aged 50-89 over the 1998-2012 age.

The participants were interviewed about their health and behaviors every two years. Those who reported having led a healthy lifestyle were classified as free of disability.

The participants who had a body mass index of less than 30 were classified as not obese. Those who  inhaled less than 100 cigarettes and was not subjected to passive smoking in their lifetime were considered as non smokers.

Men who had fewer than 14 units of alcohol per week and women who had fewer than 7 units of alcohol per week on a regular basis were considered moderate alcoholics.

They investigated and assessed the ages at which private individuals with these unhealth behaviours firstly became incapacitated, how many years they lived with disability, and their total life expectancy.

The researchers then equated these results with those of the general population, and with those of individuals with specially risky behavioural profiles.