68 days ago by Lyle J. Dennis, M.D.

A large well designed study out of Johns Hopkins has established a strong link between lifestyle choices and lifespan.

The study followed 6200 men and women of mixed ethnic backgrounds who were from age 44 to 84 when the study began and were followed an average of 7.6 years.

Specifically four lifestyle factors were analyzed with respect to their ability to influence lifespan.

Theses included: not smoking, maintaining normal weight, regular exercise, and adherence to a Mediterranean diet.

All study participants had coronary calcium scores, a marker of coronary atherosclerosis, measured at the start of the study, and were followed for the developing of cardiac disease , increased coronary calcium and death.

They were grouped into categories of 0 to 4 depending on how many healthy lifestyle factors they had, with 4 begin the healthiest. Amazingly only 2% of the participants received a score of 4.

The researchers observed significant reductions in the risk of atherosclerosis progression, cardiac events, and death for those in the healthiest lifestyle group.

In particular, those adopting all four healthy lifestyle factors had an 80% reduced risk of dying during the study than those who had none.

The authors conclude:

In the present study, we found that regular exercise, adher- ence to a Mediterranean-style diet, smoking avoidance, and normal weight maintenance were associated with lower CAC incidence, slower CAC progression, a trend toward lower CHD risk, and significantly lower all-cause mortality over 7.6 years.

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