Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Lifestyle afftecs life expectancy, quality of life.

How long your parents lived does not necessarily affect how long you will live. Instead it is how you live your life that determines how old you will get, reveals research from the Journal of Internal Medicine. It is often assumed that people with parents who lived to be very old are more likely to live to a grand old age themselves. Those who did not smoke, consumed moderate amounts of coffee and had a good socio-economic status at the age of 50 (measured in terms of housing costs), as well as good physical working capacity at the age of 54 and low cholesterol at 50 had the greatest chance of celebrating their 90th birthday.

The study clearly shows that we can influence several of the factors that decide how old we get. This is positive not only for the individual, but also for society as it doesn't entail any major drug costs.

In another study from Journal of Gerontology, increased life expectancy in the United States has not been accompanied by more years of perfect health. A 20-year-old today can expect to live one less healthy year over his or her lifespan than a 20-year-old a decade ago, even though life expectancy has grown. Average "morbidity," or, the period of life spend with serious disease or loss of functional mobility, has increased in the last few decades. "We have always assumed that each generation will be healthier and longer lived than the prior one," researchers explained. "However, the compression of morbidity may be as illusory as immortality."

The average number of healthy years has decreased since 1998. We spend fewer years of our lives without disease, even though we live longer. "There is substantial evidence that we have done little to date to eliminate or delay disease while we have prevented death from diseases," researchers explained. "At the same time, there have been substantial increases in the incidences of certain chronic diseases, specifically, diabetes."

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