Among the many factors associated with disease-free lifespan, there are four that appear to have the most impact, a new study finds.
Investigators analyzed meta-data from studies of more than 100,000 adults, noting the number of years lived without chronic disease between ages 40 and 75. They found that having a body mass index lower than 25 and at least two of three additional factors was linked to more years without type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and cancer. These factors include never smoking, physical activity, and moderate alcohol consumption.
Each of the four factors was given a score based on risk status, and the researchers then constructed 16 lifestyle profiles from combinations of the factors.
Study participants with just one of the 16 lifestyle profiles reached ages 70.3 to 71.4 years disease-free. Men who had the best of the possible lifestyle scores lived about 10 additional years without chronic diseases when compared with those who had the worst of the scores. Similarly, women lived about 9.4 more years in this scenario, the researchers reported.
The results are similar to those of a Harvard study, published earlier this year, in which the lowest disease-free life expectancy was found to be in male, current heavy smokers, and in men and women with obesity.
Full findings were published in JAMA Internal Medicine.