Posted on May 7th, 2010 by
A recent study in the UK has found that the combination of inadequate physical activity, poor diet, smoking, and certain levels of alcohol consumption significantly raises the risk of death from all causes. These findings were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Previous studies have found an association between lifestyle factors and health, such as the development of cancer and other disease and survival rates following a diagnosis. Commonly investigated behaviors include physical activity, diet, smoking, and alcohol consumption.
This recent study evaluated the individual and combined effects of physical activity, diet, smoking, and alcohol consumption on mortality. Study enrollment occurred from 1984 to 1985 and included almost 5,000 participants from the UK; participants were 18 years of age or older at enrollment. Poor health behaviors that were evaluated included:
These findings were recorded at the 20-year follow-up:
The researchers concluded that the combined effect on mortality risk of poor health behaviors is “substantial.” Therefore, even modest improvements in these behaviors could have a significant positive effect on public health.
Reference: Kvaavik E, Batty GD, Ursin G, et al. Influence of individual and combined health behaviors on total and cause-specific mortality in men and women. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2010 Apr 26;170(8):711-8.
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