Exercise, a varied diet and little alcohol are important for a healthy life, as far as we know. A new study shows how many years of life we actually lose due to unhealthy lifestyle and health.
In a new study, scientists identify the risk of premature death and predict people’s life expectancy more accurately than comparable studies done in the past. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFU) in Heidelberg created a program to predict life expectancy from a combination of lifestyle and blood markers.
A combination of an unhealthy lifestyle and unfavorable blood values led to a 22.7-year shorter life expectancy in men. For the investigations, they looked at 25,000 middle-aged to older participants over a period of 18 years.
These factors affect life expectancy.
the Life expectancy has increased in economically developed countries in recent decades. However, some people do not reach the expected life expectancy, but suffer an early death. In previous studies, scientists compared the risk of death with an unhealthy and healthy lifestyle. The result: Males had a shorter life span of 16.8 years and females 9.87 years..
In this model, however, only lifestyle-related risk factors, such as Smoking, alcohol consumption, waist circumference, body mass index, lack of exercise, diabetes and arterial hypertension observed. However, biological aging depends not only on variable factors, but also on psychosocial, economic and genetic ones. These are reflected in the so-called biomarkers contrary.
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The Heidelberg scientists combined lifestyle-related risk factors with biomarkers. This resulted in a difference of 22.7 years of life among men with the most unfavorable blood values compared to the comparison group. Both participants, this difference was 14 years.
The scientists identified these five biomarkers:
- GDF-15 indicates oxidative stress, inflammation and possible mitochondrial dysfunction.
- NT proBNP it is a marker of heart damage.
- HbA1C In addition to its role in diagnosing diabetes, it is a marker of metabolically (metabolism-related) unhealthy aging.
- PCR a marker of chronic systemic inflammation.
- Cystatin-C provides information on kidney function.
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Conclusion of the study
On the one hand, the results of the study could be used to develop preventive measures in order to improve life expectancy. On the other hand, the results could educational value for health “Probable loss of life expectancy is a convenient and easily understood measure that doctors, for example, can use to motivate their patients to give up unhealthy habits. It could also be used to identify people with particularly high health risks who could benefit from direct interventions,” study lead author Bernard Srour explained to the standard.
However, the results of the study should interpreted with caution “because they need to replicate in other populations and settings,” says the study. Therefore, it is not a universal algorithm that predicts the life expectancy of all human beings. The results always depend on the accuracy of the risk factors.
utopia says: The study should be evaluated with caution not only because of the inaccuracy of the risk factors. The only factor scientists use to classify nutrition is BMI. To calculate BMI, all you need is your height and weight. Therefore the result not particularly significant. If you are a normal weight based on your BMI, it does not automatically mean that you are healthy.
In order to assess your health status, you should also consider other factors:
- Diet and lifestyle: More important than BMI is that you eat healthy and move enough.
- Bone density and body composition: The BMI does not take into account that muscle mass is heavier than fat mass. Therefore, the BMI often classifies athletic people with a high proportion of muscle as being overweight.
- Age and gender: Your body composition changes throughout life and also depends on your gender. For example, men have a higher percentage of muscle than women. You’ll find slightly different charts for women, men, and different age groups, but BMI is still just a rough guide.
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