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11.01.2022


A healthy way of life | It is the sum of life style factors that counts

A healthy way of life is not something that stands or falls with one thing, conludes a Korean study published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health. Ultimately, it is the sum total of lifestyle factors that makes a way of life healthy. Or unhealthy.


A healthy way of life | It is the sum of life style factors that counts


Study
In 2012, researchers from Seoul National University published an epidemiological study in which they followed 14533 men aged 40-59 years from 1993 to 2008. During that time, 990 study participants died.

The researchers tried to find associations between the risk of death and the lifestyle of the study participants. The researchers knew the lifestyle of those study participants because the men had completed standardized questionnaires when the study began.

This included questions about their education, BMI, insulin resistance, sleeping habits, amount of physical activity, and smoking and drinking habits.

Individual factors
Based on these answers, the researchers gave the men a score between 0 and 28. The figure below shows how the researchers calculated the scores - and the effect of those individual factors on the chance of death.

The most important factor was age, the second most important was smoking. Smokers were almost 2 times more likely to die than non-smokers.

For virtually all other factors, their effect was small.


A healthy way of life | It is the sum of life style factors that counts


All lifestyle factors
The men with the highest total scores were nearly 17 times more likely to die during the study than the men with the lowest scores.


A healthy way of life | It is the sum of life style factors that counts


A healthy way of life | It is the sum of life style factors that counts


Conclusion
"In this prospective cohort study, smoking, drinking alcohol, physical exercise, sleep hours, education level, and BMI were associated with premature mortality", write the Koreans.

"When combined, there was a strong trend towards increased mortality risk as the score increased. This finding suggests that modifiable risk factors, such as smoking, drinking, and physical activity, have considerable impacts on premature mortality."

"Interventions for patients at a high risk of premature mortality should stress various preventative measures that consider combined health behaviors."

Source:
J Prev Med Public Health. 2012 Jan;45(1):14-20.

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