(HealthDay News) — Adopting a healthy lifestyle, with 5 low-risk lifestyle factors is associated with increased life expectancy, according to a study published online in Circulation.

Yanping Li, MD, PhD, from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues used data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study to define 5 low-risk lifestyle factors, and estimated hazard ratios for the association of total lifestyle score with mortality. The lifestyle factors were never smoking, body mass index of 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m², ≥30 minutes vigorous exercise/day, moderate alcohol intake, and a high diet quality score.

The researchers documented 42,167 deaths during up to 34 years of follow-up. For adults with 5 vs 0 low-risk factors, the multivariable adjusted hazard ratios were 0.26, 0.35, and 0.18 for all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular disease mortality, respectively. The population-attributable risk for non-adherence to 5 low-risk factors was 60.7, 51.7, and 71.7%, respectively, for all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular mortality. For women and men who adopted 0 low-risk lifestyle factors, the life expectancy at age 50 years was 29.0 and 25.5 years, respectively; in contrast, for those who adopted all 5 low-risk factors, projected life expectancy was 43.1 and 37.6 years, respectively.

“Adopting a healthy lifestyle could substantially reduce premature mortality and prolong life expectancy in US adults,” the authors write.

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Li Y, Pan A, Wang DD, et al. Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US Population. Circ. DOI:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.117.032047