American researchers have compiled a list of habits that affect life expectancy. Those who followed all these principles lived on average 12-14 years longer.
Researchers from Harvard have analyzed how different aspects of a healthy lifestyle affect life expectancy. The most effective measures were found to be healthy eating, regular physical activity, smoking cessation, and weight and alcohol control. The work was published in the journal Circulation.
The researchers analyzed data from two long-term studies: the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. They were attended by 123,219 medical workers, they were regularly examined by specialists for three decades. During this time, 42,167 participants died in the study - the authors of the new work examined the relationship between their habits and life span.
Based on previous research, scientists have identified five major lifestyle factors that contribute to longevity. This list includes a healthy diet, smoking cessation, at least half an hour of physical activity per day, and limiting alcohol consumption: long-lived men drank no more than 30 grams of ethyl alcohol per day, women - no more than 15. Also in people who live long, body mass index is less likely to go beyond the normal range.
For those who did not follow any of the rules, life expectancy averaged 76 years (for men) and 79 years (for women). For those who adhered to all five principles, this period was 87 and 93 years, respectively. According to scientists, supporters of a healthy lifestyle are 82% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 65% less often from cancer.
American life expectancy has risen 16 years since the early 1940s. The researchers note that people could live even longer if it were not for the spread of obesity, so the basic principles of healthy lifestyle are aimed, among other things, at controlling body weight. According to scientists, only 8% of US citizens comply with all five rules.
Previously, researchers have refuted the stereotype about the benefits of small doses of alcohol.