Everyone knows that there are several key elements to a healthy lifestyle: not smoking, exercising regularly, eating your vegetables, controlling weight and consuming alcohol in moderation. Most people, however, do not know how much longer they could live if they actually followed such advice.
How Many Years Does a Healthy Lifestyle Add?
A new report in the journal Circulation used data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Followup Study to answer this question (Li et al, Circulation, May 1, 2018 ). Over 120,000 men and women participated in these study cohorts for more than three decades. That included 78,865 female nurses and 44,354 male dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists and other health professionals.
During that time, almost 25,000 health professionals died from cancer or cardiovascular disease. After adjusting for various factors, the authors found that a 50-year-old-woman following all five healthy habits might expect to live to 93. That is 14 years longer than women with the least healthy lifestyles. A 50-year-old man could expect to make it to 87 if he followed all the healthy habits. That’s 12 years more than his less conscientious colleagues.
The authors conclude:
“Adopting a healthy lifestyle could substantially reduce premature mortality and prolong life expectancy in US adults.”
Do You Follow a Healthy Lifestyle?
Sadly, though, very few Americans actually implement such recommendations. The authors of the Circulation analysis note that in 2006 only 8% of Americans could check all five healthy lifestyle boxes. Let us know if there is information we can provide through The People’s Pharmacy to help you achieve these goals.