Four Bad Habits Which Can Cut Your Life By 12 Years

April 27th, 2010 - 11:01 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Apr 27 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Dubbed a “Killer Quartet”, the top four bad habits which can shave over a decade off of a person’s life has been released in Monday’s Archives of Internal Medicine. The risky behaviors are described as common sense vices which you mother warned you about while you were growing up. It is being said that motherly advice can actually help you live a longer life.

So what did mother warn us about? The “Killer Quartet” is smoking, drinking, poor diet (stop eating all that junk!), and inactivity (or laziness)Those people who engage in all four high risk behaviors suffer three times the death rate for cancer and heart disease. They will also suffer four times the death rate from other causes, compared to those who engage in none of the behaviors.

The study which led researchers to these conclusions involved 4886 people who were 18 or older in the years 1984 and 1985, who were assigned a health behavior score for each of their bad habits, a score of four for those who had all four of the vices, and zero for those who did none of them. Basically, the higher the score, the lower the life span. Over the next 20 years, 1080 of the participants died, 431 of those were from heart disease, and 318 was from cancer. The other 331 died from other causes. Compared against those who had no bad habits, the risk of death increased with each additional vice.

A person with a score of four has “an overall death risk equivalent to being 12 years older” than someone who engages in none of the poor behaviours, the study said. “To fully understand the public health impact of these behaviours, it is necessary to examine both their individual and combined impact on health outcomes,” said Elisabeth Kvaavik of the University of Oslo, one of the study’s authors. Specifically the bad habits were defined as: “smoking tobacco; downing more than three alcoholic drinks per day for men and more than two daily for women; getting less than two hours of physical activity per week; and eating fruits and vegetables fewer than three times daily.”

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