Age-Related Diseases Reduced with Healthy Lifestyle

Diseases of aging really can be reduced by following a few health tips. Not only that, but following health guidelines can add over ten years to a person’s life.


I.   Lifestyle Factors

II.  The Study

III. Diseases of Aging

IV.  Resources

We all know we shouldn’t smoke or become obese. But cravings for a cigarette can be so strong. And that dessert is so very, very tempting. Perhaps learning about this important study will give you extra motivation!

I. Lifestyle Factors

You can reduce your risk of aging-related diseases by following five simple lifestyle factors. These arediseases of aging

  1. Never smoke.
  2. Maintain healthful weight.
  3. Exercise at least moderately for 30 or minutes each day.
  4. diseases of agingDrink alcohol (beer, wine, or spirits) in moderation.
  5. Eat a healthful diet.

II. The Study

Researchers tested the effects of these lifestyle factors on diseases of aging. But they also tested the effect of these factors on lengthening life

To do so, they used data from two studies. One was the Nurses’ Health Study. The data used were on the same group of nurses from 1980 until 2014. A total of 78,865 nurses participated.

The second was the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The data used were on the same group of health professionals from 1986 until 2014.

Participants were similar in educational and socio-economic level. This reduces the chance that these factors could provide alternative explanations for the conclusions.

III. Diseases of Aging

The major diseases of aging are cardiovascular disease and cancer. A total of over 42,000 participants died from these and other causes. The researchers compared diseases of aging and longevity with lifestyle factors.

Many participants had some of the positive and some of the negative lifestyle factors. However, some (group A) had all five positive lifestyle factors. On the other hand, some (group B) had none. The researchers considered the first group in comparison with the second.

Death from cardiovascular disease was 82% lower among those with all five factors. Similarly, death from cancer was 65% lower.

The researchers also looked at death from any and all causes (all-cause mortality). Participants with all five factors had an all-cause death rate 84% lower than the group with none.

Women participants with all five factors lived an average of 14.0 years longer. For men, it was an average of 12.2 longer life.

Hmmmm.  Think I’ll forget dessert and take a brisk 30-minute walk instead.

IV. Resources

American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society’s “Freshstart”: 21 Days to Stop Smoking. NY: Simon & Schuster,1996.

Carr, A. and Groves, R. Stop Smoking Now. London: Arcturus, 2017.

Jaminet, P. and Jaminet, S. Perfect Health Diet. Old Saybrook, CT: Tantor, 2013.

Jensen, B. Dr. Jensen’s Nutrition Handbook. Los Angeles: Keats, 2000.

Markides, K. Encyclopedia of Health & Aging. Los Angeles: Sage, 2007.

Palmer, R. and Beal, E. Age Well! Cleveland: Cleveland Clinic, 2017.

Penner, D. Elder Fit: A Health and Fitness Program for Older Adults. Reston, VA: AAHPERD, 1999.

Pulos, L. Stop Smoking. NY: Gildan, 2015.

World Health Organization. Keep Fit for Life: Meeting the Nutritional Needs of Older Persons. Geneva: WHO, 2012.

Woteki, C. and Thomas, P. Eat for Life: The Food and Nutrition Board’s Guide to Reducing Your Risk of Chronic Disease. Washington, DC: Nat. Acad. Press, 1999.

Wright, V. and Winter, R. Fitness after 40: How to Stay Strong at any Age. NY: AMACOM, 2009.