Navigation Links
Healthier Lifestyles Would Lengthen American Lives

Major study suggests slimming down, quitting smoking would boost average life span by 1.3 years

MONDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- If 156 million adults in the United States took better care of themselves, the average American would live 1.3 years longer, and the number of heart attacks would fall by 63 percent.

That's the conclusion of a joint study released Monday that combined the resources of the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society.

"Prevention makes a difference," said study co-author Dr. Rose Marie Robertson, chief science officer of the American Heart Association. "You can live longer, maybe substantially longer, and you can have a much healthier life."

Even a more realistic scenario -- assuming, among other things, that just 20 percent of obese Americans lost weight -- would lead to major improvements in the country's overall health, researchers found.

There's a hitch: The health gains are entirely hypothetical. The study is an exercise designed to measure scenarios in which millions of Americans stopped doing things that are bad for them.

One scenario examined what would happen if the 78 percent of Americans aged 20-80 with risk factors that threaten their health didn't have those risk factors anymore.

Some smoke. Others are heavy, suffer from high cholesterol or high blood pressure, don't take aspirin when their heart attack risk is high, or have other risk factors they don't control through a healthy lifestyle or medication.

The researchers assumed that all those Americans -- 156 million of them -- managed to stop smoking, lose weight, and control other risk factors. Then they used a statistical model to predict what would happen.

Under this scenario, the number of heart attacks would fall by nearly two-thirds, and strokes would decline by almost at third, the researchers found.

The average life span of all Americans, meanwhile, would grow by 1.3 years. That may not sound like a lot, but it's an average number and could be much higher for younger people, Robertson said.

"You really prevent serious things," she said. "If you prevent those, then that person is healthier, so they're able to engage in the things they like doing. They live to see their daughter get married or get their kids through graduation, all the things that are stolen away."

The study looked at another scenario, considered "more feasible," in which smaller numbers of people started taking better care of themselves. Among other things, 20 percent of obese people would lose enough weight to stop being clinically obese, and 30 percent of smokers would quit.

Under that scenario, the number of heart attacks would fall by 36 percent and strokes by 20 percent.

The findings were expected to be published in both the July 29 issue of the journal Circulation and the August issue of Diabetes Care.

In another study released Monday, Norwegian researchers report that short bursts of intense exercise appear to do a better job of reducing metabolic syndrome -- linked to heart problems -- than longer, less vigorous exercise.

The intense bouts of exercise weren't exhausting, though, and didn't require participants to push their hearts to their top levels of endurance, said study co-author Ulrik Wisloff, a researcher with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. The study will be published in the July 22 issue of Circulation.

More information

Learn about heart-healthy habits from the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Rose Marie Robertson, M.D., chief science officer, American Heart Association, Dallas. July 29, 2008; Ulrik Wisloff, Ph.D., researcher, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway; Circulation and August 2008 Diabetes Care

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Tips to Achieve a Healthier, More Restful Nursery
2. Partnering With MyPyramid: NUTRIKIDS Accepts the Challenge to Help Families Step Up to Healthier Living
3. American Italian Pasta Company Extends Line of Healthier Pastas With Heartland(R) Perfect Balance
4. The Weight Is Over: Five Winners Lose 194 Pounds as Kmart Encourages 24,000 Americans to Achieve Healthier Lifestyle
5. New Smart Balance(R) Butter Blend Sticks Make Healthier Cooking & Baking Easy
6. Simple Steps to a Healthier, Allergy-Free Home
7. Children in Illinois to Have Healthier Smiles
8. Medical Mutual of Ohio, CareWorks Build a Healthier Workforce
9. The Challenge Kicks off 2nd Year - Tops 2 Million Pounds Lost, Half a Million Gain Healthier Lives
10. Better-educated women are a healthier weight, new research reveals
11. AUDIO from Medialink and Apple Products Research and Education Council: New Research -- Adults Who Eat Apples, Apple Juice Have Healthier Diets and Lower Risk for Metabolic Syndrome
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Healthier Lifestyles Would Lengthen American Lives
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, ... remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and ... Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , For ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is ... a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the ... one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 ... brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live ... not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... City, Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 ... ... helping both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic ... the Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those ... deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol ... of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)...  VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ( ) reported ... required to build a strong and stable market for ... on the OTC Markets-pink current trading platform. ... are seeing an anomaly in market trading activities that ... the Company, but shareholders and market players as well. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. , June 24, 2016 ... GBT ), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics ... significant unmet needs, today announced the closing of ... shares of common stock, at the public offering ... shares in the offering were offered by GBT. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ALEXANDRIA, Va. , June 24, 2016 ... a set of recommendations that would allow ... information (HCEI) with entities that make formulary and coverage ... determine the "value" of new medicines. The ... that does not appear on the drug label, a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: