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Healthy living halves death risk
[Posted: Wed 17/09/2008 by Olivia Fens www.irishhealth.com]
More than 50% of deaths in women from chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease could have been avoided if the women never smoked, maintained a healthy weight, exercised and ate a healthy diet low in red meat and trans-fats.
Previous studies have shown that poor diet, lack of physical activity, being overweight, alcohol consumption and smoking increase the risk of disease including cancer and diabetes, but little is known about affect of healthy living and longevity.
Researchers looked at data from nearly 80,000 women aged 34 to 59 years in 1980 who were part of the Nurses’ Health Study in the US. They analysed the data and over the follow-up period and the authors documented 8,882 deaths, including 1,790 from heart disease and 4,527 from cancer.
The researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, estimated that 28% of these deaths could have been avoided if women had never smoked and that 55% could have been avoided if women had combined never smoking, regular physical activity, a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight.
Alcohol intake did not substantially change this estimate, although heavy alcohol consumption is linked to an increased risk of dying from cancer. Smoking was found to be the biggest cause of premature death but all the other factors also contributed.
Interestingly, women with light- to moderate-alcohol consumption (up to one drink a day) were less likely to die from cardiovascular diseases than alcohol abstainers.
The authors believe the results of this research indicate that more needs to be done to eradicate smoking and to encourage individuals to take regular exercise and eat healthily. They concluded that “even modest differences in lifestyle can have a substantial impact on reducing mortality rates”.
More than 3,500 women die each year in Ireland from cancer alone, according to the National Cancer Registry Ireland.
The research was published on the British Medical Journal website.
|Anonymous Posted: 18/09/2008 17:13|
|Common sense really. It is interesting that the start of the article suggests a diet low in red meat but the study is not quoted as mentioning red meat at all - and after all very lean red meat is an excellent source of iron, which is particulalry important in young women.|
|Patricia(GMC11099) Posted: 18/09/2008 19:02|
|I agree anonymous. Healthy living is a question of common sense living. What you like, in moderation, plenty of exercise, no smoking, sufficient sleep, and a good relationship with the world and with friends. Maybe some day so called fast food will cease to exist. Just a dream...... P|
|Anonymous Posted: 19/09/2008 13:02|
|I think of "fast" food as grabbing an apple or a banana!|
|Patricia(GMC11099) Posted: 19/09/2008 13:09|
|Absolutely Anonymous. There are many healthy alternatives such as a piece of fruit, or even a bowl of cereal, or dried fruit. What bemuses me, a lot, are the number of people who have put in these "fancy" kitchens, (some pull out the perfectly good maybe year old kitchen they have, as I know in one case) with the brushed steel and all the rest, BUT they go out and buy the fast food and take it home for the evening meal, just to heat it up in the fancy kitchen. Strange isn't it. !! P|
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