The Years of Difference

EurekAlert! summarizes the results of a recent PLoS Medicine study: "People who adopt four healthy behaviours - not smoking; taking exercise; moderate alcohol intake; and eating five servings of fruit and vegetables a day - live on average an additional fourteen years of life compared with people who adopt none of these behaviours ... After factoring in age, the results showed that over an average period of eleven years people with a score of 0 - i.e. those who did not undertake any of these healthy forms of behaviour – were four times more likely to have died than those who had scored 4 in the questionnaire. Furthermore, the researchers calculate that a person who has a health score of 0 has the same risk of dying as someone 14 years older who had scored 4 in the questionnaire (i.e. someone engaging in all four healthy forms of behaviour)." The cost of harming yourself, or indeed even of just failing to take care of the health basics could be very large indeed, given the prospects for the repair of aging in the future. Ten years might be the difference between living to benefit from healthy life extension technologies, or missing that boat entirely.


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