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Study Links Healthy Living to Over Two Decades of Extra Life

Study Links Healthy Living to Over Two Decades of Extra Life
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Bengaluru: According to studies, making eight lifestyle adjustments, including eating healthily and getting enough sleep, might add more than 20 years to your life.

Even if they waited until middle age to adopt the healthier practices, the study indicated that people were likely to live longer when they made only moderate changes.

“Our research findings suggest that adopting a healthy lifestyle is important for both public health and personal wellness,” said Xuan-Mai T. Nguyen, a health science professional working at the US Department of Veteran Affairs.

“The earlier, the better, but even if you only make a small change in your 40s, 50s, or 60s, it still is beneficial,” she continued.
The study, which was presented at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting in Boston, used information gathered between 2011 and 2019 from surveys and medical records. The information included more than 700,000 US veterans registered in the Veterans Affairs Million Veteran Program, ranging in age from 40 to 99.

In order to determine whether lifestyle choices were linked to a longer lifespan, Nguyen and her coworkers conducted an analysis of the data. According to medical information gathered for the experiment, 33,375 individuals passed away throughout the time of the study.

The scientists went on to say that when taken together, the lifestyle variables might significantly affect life expectancy, extending a person’s lifetime by decades.

“Men and women who adopted eight therapeutic lifestyle factors could gain 23.7 or 22.6 years of life expectancy, respectively, at age 40 years, compared to those with no adopted lifestyle factors,” the scientists wrote.

The three lifestyle choices that were most strongly associated with early mortality were smoking, taking opioid medicines, and being physically inactive: people who possessed these characteristics had a 30%–45% greater chance of passing away during the study period. Contrarily, a 20% increased risk of death was linked to stress, excessive drinking, poor sleep habits, and a poor diet throughout the study period.

However, because the research was observational, it is impossible to establish a causal relationship between the parameters found and variations in longevity.
Prof. Naveed Sattar, a University of Glasgow expert in cardiovascular and metabolic health who was not involved in the study, issued a warning that because the research did not involve a trial, a number of variables might be muddying the results.

Sattar nevertheless appreciated the task. In order to prevent or treat a variety of chronic conditions, he said: “These statistics support the idea that how we live our lives matters at least as much as the medications we take. This means that lifestyle factors are always important and we cannot just drug ourselves into good health. Therefore, if the NHS can assist individuals in adopting healthier lifestyle patterns, this might reduce the expenses associated with chronic diseases and enable them to have more fulfilling lives.

The eight-way of life adjustments that might extend your life

  • Eat well
  • Avoid cigarettes
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Be physically active
  • Manage stress
  • Avoid binge drinking
  • Be free from opioid addiction
  • Have positive social relationships
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