Effect of lifestyle in life expectancy

A lot of research studies have been going around to account for changes in lifestyle habits in the elderly, or investigated their impact on disease-free life expectancy and with cardiovascular disease (CVD). The World Health Organization estimated about 17.3 million people who died from cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in 2008, representing 30 % of all deaths. All the gathered information calculated the independent and joint effects of smoking, physical activity, obesity and alcohol consumption on LE with and without CVD. Men and women aged 50 years who have a favourable lifestyle (overweight but not obese, light/moderate drinker, non-smoker and participates in vigorous physical activity) lived between 7.4 (in men) and 15.7 (in women) years longer than those with an unfavourable lifestyle (overweight but not obese, light/moderate drinker, smoker and does not participate in physical activity).

It’s true that the aging of the population has led to a high prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. People with chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes have a shorter life expectancy than do their peers without these chronic condition. In spite of all these facts, little research has looked at how a combination of multiple lifestyle factors may relate to life expectancy free from the major diseases of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

As life expectancy free of chronic diseases take into account both morbidity and mortality, these estimates can be useful metrics for health professionals and the general public, also it might aid policy makers to better estimate future healthcare costs and to plan for healthcare needs.

Deriving a healthy lifestyle score is based on information on five lifestyle factors which include: diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity and body mass index (BMI). Diet of people has been assessed under the asssociations NHS and HPFS using a validated food frequency questionnaire, assessing how often, on average, a participant had consumed a specified amount of a list of foods during the previous year. Defining a healthy diet as an AHEI score in the top 40% of each cohort distribution. Physical activity levels were assessed using a validated questionnaire and updated every two to four years, resulted in the number of hours per week spent in moderate to vigorous activities like brisk walking requiring the expenditure of at least 3 metabolic equivalents of task (METs) per hour. It was then classified low risk as at least 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity daily (3.5 h/week). Height and weight were self reported and used to calculate BMI as weight (kg) divided by height (m2 ). Defining a healthy body weight as a BMI in the range of 18.5-24.9.

It was reported after the assessment that the participants with a higher number of low risk lifestyle factors were more likely to use multivitamin supplements and aspirin. During 2270411 person years of follow-up of women and 930201 person years of follow-up of men, 34383 deaths were recorded (21344 women and 13039 men).

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