Tags: Heart Disease | Cardiff | longevity | study | rules | chronic disease

Study Reveals 5 Simple Rules for Health and Long Life

Friday, 31 October 2014 10:09 AM


 
A British study which monitored the health habits of 2,235 men over 35 years has found that five simple rules are the key to a long and healthy life. The study, which was conducted by researchers from Cardiff University, is the longest study of its type to investigate the influences of everyday habits in the development of chronic disease. They found that five rules were vital for reducing the risk of chronic disease: regular exercise, healthy weight, a healthy diet, little alcohol, and not smoking.

The men who followed four of the five rules had a 60 percent decline in the rate of dementia and other deterioration of their mental faculties, with exercise being the strongest extenuating factor. There was also a 70 percent decline in cases of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke when the men were compared with those who didn't follow any of the rules.

"The size of reduction in the instance of disease owing to these simple healthy steps has really amazed us and is of enormous importance in an aging population," said the study's leader, Peter Elwood from Cardiff University's School of Medicine. "What the research shows is that following a healthy lifestyle confers surprisingly large benefits to health – healthy behaviors  have a far more beneficial effect than any medical treatment or preventative procedure."

Being healthy, however, boils down to personal responsibility, and few people actually follow all five rules consistently. "Taking up and following a healthy lifestyle is however the responsibility of the individual him or her," Elwood continued. "Sadly, the evidence from this study shows that very few people follow a fully healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, our findings reveal that while the number of people who smoke has gone down since the study started, the number of people leading a fully healthy lifestyle has not changed."

Professor Elwood continued: "If the men had been urged to adopt just one additional healthy behaviour at the start of the study 35 years ago, and if only half of them complied, then during the ensuing 35 years there would have been a 13 per cent reduction in dementia, a 12 per cent drop in diabetes, six per cent less vascular disease and a five per cent reduction in deaths."

"This large study further underlines the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and provides yet more evidence to indicate that healthy living could lower the risk of dementia," said Rebecca Wood of Alzheimer's Research UK. "We still need more research to understand how to prevent dementia – which is why Alzheimer’s Research UK is investing in this area – but it’s encouraging for people to know there are simple steps they can take now to reduce their risk of this devastating condition."
 
The study was published in the journal PLOS One.

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A British study which monitored the health habits of 2,235 men over 35 years has found that five simple rules are the key to a long and healthy life. The study, which was conducted by researchers from Cardiff University, is the longest study of its type to investigate the...
Cardiff, longevity, study, rules, chronic disease
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2014-09-31
Friday, 31 October 2014 10:09 AM
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