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Healthy lifestyle may keep you younger by 10 years

Baluchistan Express, The


Want to extend your life by 10 years? Adopt a lifestyle that includes healthy diet, staying active and saying no to smoking, scientists say.

Researchers at the University of Zurich documented for the first time the impact of behavioural factors on life expectancy in numbers, Press Tv reported.

The incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disorders is constantly rising in industrialised countries, researchers said.

Attention is focusing, amongst other things, on the main risk factors for these diseases, which are linked to personal behaviour - ie tobacco smoking, an unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.

Brian Martin and his colleagues from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at Zurich have examined the effects of these four factors - both individual and combined - on life expectancy.

For the first time the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle can be depicted in numbers. An individual who smokes, drinks a lot, is physically inactive and has an unhealthy diet has 2.5 fold higher mortality risk in epidemiological terms than an individual who looks after his health.

"A healthy lifestyle can help you stay ten years' younger," said lead author Eva Martin-Diener. For the study the researchers used data from the Swiss National Cohort (SNC). The Zurich public health physicians focused on CVDs and cancer as they account for the most deaths in Switzerland.

The researchers succeeded in correlating data on tobacco consumption, fruit consumption, physical activity and alcohol consumption from 16,721 participants aged between 16 and 90 from 1977 to 1993 with the corresponding deaths up to 2008. "The effect of each individual factor on life expectancy is relatively high," said Martin-Diener.

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