A study has identified six factors that have the most impact on longevity. The researchers say that these predictors can be utilised to understand individual mortality risk. Here are the details. Professor of medicine, David Rehkopf, said: “What you are doing right now matters for your health, it is never too late to begin to be healthy.” The research team analysed data from 13,611 adults – aged from 50 to 104 years old – who passed away between 2008 to 2014.
They identified six factors that impacted longevity:
- Alcohol abuse
- Lack of physical activity
- Financial difficulties
- Social adversity
- Negative psychological characteristics
Rehkopf commented on the findings: “Social factors and conditions come out as important for mortality, and they are factors that we should pay more attention to.”
The dangers of smoking
The British Lung Foundation (BLF) explained tobacco smoke contains over 5,000 chemicals, including nicotine.
“Many of them can cause cancer,” the BLF put bluntly. “When you smoke, these chemicals can damage your lungs but also pass into your blood and spread through your body.”
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Smoking cigars and pipes are also bad for your health, and so is shisha smoking, which is “just as harmful as normal cigarette smoke”.
The NHS stated that drinking large quantities of alcohol can cause organ damage.
Long-term alcohol misuse can damage the brain, nervous system, heart, liver and pancreas.
Heavy drinking also increases blood pressure and cholesterol levels – two major risk factors for heart attacks and strokes.
Alcohol misuse is also linked to cancers, depression, dementia and impotence.
The national health body recommends that people drink less than 14 units weekly.
Lack of physical activity
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that a lack of physical activity can lead to heart disease – even for those how have no other risk factors.
In addition, a lack of exercise can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
President of Charleston Investment Advisors, LLC, Stephanie Mackara defines what is considered financial difficulties.
“It’s a state of being where you lack control over your day to day, month to month finances.
“You are not in a position to absorb a financial shock and have constant worry over paying bills and sustaining your lifestyle.”
The research study considered this to include divorce and negative childhood experiences.
Negative psychological characteristics
As for negative psychological characteristics, this included poor self image and a dissatisfaction with life.