01 May, 2018
If a person follows those five life habits from the age of 50 onward, as opposed to not following those habits at all, the life of a person can be extended 14 additional years for women and 12.2 additional years for men. But for participants who had adopted all five habits, life expectancy at age 50 was 43 years for women and 37 years for men.
"Quantifying the association between healthy lifestyle factors and longer life expectancy is important not only for individual behavioural changes but also for policy makers", Frank Hu, chair of the school's nutrition department and lead author of the study, said in a media release.
Background-Americans have a shorter life expectancy compared with residents of nearly all other high-income countries.
The researchers combined data from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study - ongoing studies of dietary, lifestyle, and medical data in thousands of USA adults - with data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and mortality info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have identified five lifestyle factors that could add more than 10 years to your life, namely healthy diet, never smoking, moderate-to vigorous physical activity (at least 30 minutes a day), moderate alcohol consumption, and a healthy body mass index.More news: Monkey can't own the copyright to its famous selfie, appeals court rules
Researchers studied 34 years of data from nearly 79,000 women and 27 years of data from about 44,000 men who participated in the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
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.
The results revealed that people who followed all five of the healthy habits described in the study were 74 percent less likely to die during the follow-up period than those who adhered to none of them. In 2015, the United States ranked 31st in the world for life expectancy.
"Adopting a healthy lifestyle could substantially reduce premature mortality and prolong life expectancy in US adults", the authors write.
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.