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Good Lifestyle Choices Add Years to Your Life

6 years, 7 months ago

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Posted on Oct 20, 2017, 10 a.m.

Certain behaviors, many associated with various genes, were linked to longevity in large study

(HealthDay News) -- Change your lifestyle, change your life span.

That's the claim of a new study that found not smoking, watching your weight and continuing to learn new things could help you live longer.
And genes play a part in the lifestyle choices people make, according to researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
"The power of big data and genetics allow us to compare the effect of different behaviors and diseases in terms of months and years of life lost or gained, and to distinguish between mere association and causal effect," researcher Jim Wilson said in a university news release. But this study didn't prove that lifestyle choices cause life span to shorten or lengthen.
For the study, scientists analyzed genetic information from more than 600,000 people in North America, Europe and Australia to determine how genes affect life span.

For example, certain genes are associated with increased alcohol consumption and addiction, the study authors explained.
Smoking and traits associated with lung cancer had the greatest effect on shortening life expectancy. The researchers determined that smoking a pack of cigarettes each day over a lifetime leads to an average loss of seven years of life.
But the good news was that smokers who quit the habit lived as long as people who never smoked, according to the report.
The investigators also found that body fat and other factors linked to diabetes reduce life expectancy. For every excess 2.2 pounds a person carries, life expectancy is cut by two months, the findings showed.

People who are open to new experiences and who have higher levels of learning also tend to live longer, the researchers said. Every year spent studying beyond school added almost a year to a person's life span.

Wilson and colleagues also found that differences in a gene that affects blood cholesterol levels can reduce life span by around eight months, and differences in a gene linked to the immune system can add about half a year to life expectancy.

“Most of being a good Integrative Physician is simply having common sense. If your doctor hasn’t told you that living healthy keeps you healthy, your doctor should. Although genetics are important, your behavior and lifestyle choice still has the greatest bearing on how healthy you will age,” said Dr. Ronald Klatz, President of the A4M, Oct. 13, 2017.

The study was published Oct. 13 in the journal Nature Communications.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers healthy living resources.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University of Edinburgh, news release, Oct. 13, 2017

Last Updated: Oct. 13, 2017

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Dr. Ronald Klatz, DO, MD President of the A4M has 28,000 Physician Members, has trained over 150,000 Physicians, health professionals and scientists in the new specialty of Anti-aging medicine. Estimates of their patients numbering in the 100’s of millions World Wide that are living better stronger, healthier and longer lives.

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