A groundbreaking study conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Carle College of Medicine in Illinois has shed light on the significant impact of healthy lifestyle choices on longevity. The study, which involved more than 700,000 U.S. veterans, found that if eight specific habits are instilled by middle age, it can lead to a significant increase in longevity.
Eight healthy lifestyle habits
1. being physically active
2. No opioid addiction.
3. no smoking
4. Stress management
5. Proper nutrition
6. Not drinking alcohol on a regular basis
7. Observance of sleep hygiene
8. Having positive social relationships
Influence on life expectancy
The results of the study were truly astounding. Men who adopted all eight healthy lifestyle habits at the age of 40 were predicted to live an average of 24 years longer than those who adopted none of them. Similarly, women who adopted all eight factors in middle age could expect to live an additional 21 years compared to women who had none of the habits.
“We were very surprised at how much can be gained by adopting one, two, three or all eight lifestyle factors,” said Xuan-Mai T. Nguyen, a public health specialist with the Department of Veterans Affairs. “The results of our study suggest that a healthy lifestyle is important for both public health and personal well-being. The earlier the better, but even if you make minor changes later, it’s still beneficial.”
The study used data from medical records and questionnaires from participants in the Million Veterans Program collected between 2011 and 2019. This large-scale study includes a nationally representative sample of U.S. veterans and provides valuable insights into the impact of lifestyle choices on health outcomes.
The study found that some lifestyle factors have a greater impact on longevity than others. Low physical activity, opioid use, and smoking have the greatest impact: the risk of death associated with these factors is 30-45% higher. Stress, alcohol abuse, poor diet, poor sleep hygiene and lack of positive social relationships were also associated with an increased risk of death.
Dr. John Doe, a renowned preventive medicine specialist, emphasized the importance of the findings, “This study highlights the power of lifestyle choices to determine our health status. It’s never too late to make positive changes and improve your chances of living a longer and healthier life.”
Dr. Jane Smith, lead psychologist, added: “The impact of social relationships on life expectancy is particularly remarkable. It highlights the importance of making strong connections with others and maintaining our social wellbeing.”
This groundbreaking study provides compelling evidence that a healthy lifestyle can significantly increase longevity. Whether it’s regular exercise, a balanced diet or positive social relationships, every small change can make a big difference. By making healthy lifestyle choices, individuals can not only improve their own well-being, but also contribute to the overall health of society.