If there were still doubts that a healthy lifestyle translates into a longer life expectancy, a study that has been published in the journal Circulation quantifies that life expectancy: up to 15 additional years.
The researchers measured the impact of five factors of healthy lifestyle: healthy diet, half an hour of moderate to intense daily exercise, not smoking, not drinking alcohol and moving away from obesity and overweight (ie, a BMI of 18, 5 to 24.9 kg / m2).
They tracked the data of more than 100,000 people included in two databases (Nurses Health Study and Health Professionals Follow Up Study), up to a maximum of 34 years, after which they accounted for 42,167 deaths.
The study shows clear results: the life expectancy at 50 years of those who did not follow any of the five healthy habits was 29 years for women and 25.5 years for men.
Adopting a single healthy habit already implies an increase in life expectancy of two years
However, for those who followed these five habits they reached 43.1 years in women and 37.6 years for men. That is, 14 and 12 years, respectively.
Healthy life style
Life expectancy increases as people acquire more good health habits. In women, adopting only one of these factors – called ‘zero risk’ – means an increase of a year and a half. With two habits, life expectancy increases five years, to which 2.7 and 4.9 years are added if three and four of these habits are adopted.
In men, the adoption of only one of these habits already implies an increase in average life expectancy in just over two years. With two, you get to five more years; with three, seven; and with four, 10 years.
The study has been conducted in the United States, a developed country but whose life expectancy is lower than that of others in its environment. “The Americans can reduce the gap between the life expectancy of the US and other industrialized countries by adopting a healthier lifestyle,” the authors point out.
In addition, they emphasize that “prevention should be the highest priority of health policies, and preventive care must be an indispensable part of the health system of the United States.”