Can Lifestyle Changes Add Years to Your Life?

Healthy lifestyle choices could help us live up to five years longer, regardless of our genetic makeup, a study suggests. As life expectancy creeps up worldwide, there’s growing interest in living healthily for as long as possible, with some trying to reduce their “biological age” and others turning to personalized medicine to prevent health issues. Evidence suggests that a combination of a person’s genetics and lifestyle governs how long they’ll live, but a study published in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine on Monday is thought to be the first to compare the effects of the two on lifespan. 

The study looked at data from 353,742 adults with European ancestry collected between 2006 and 2010, and tracked their health until 2021 to ascertain whether their genes or lifestyle had a bigger impact on their lifespan.

The researchers ranked the participants according to whether they were genetically predisposed to diseases that could shorten their lifespan, and whether they led a healthy lifestyle. Not smoking, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, having a healthy body shape, and drinking alcohol in moderation defined a favorable lifestyle, while the opposite was unfavorable.

Excerpted from Business Insider

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