4 behaviors can lengthen life by 14 years

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 28, 2008

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Exercising regularly, imbibing moderately, eating at least five fruit or vegetable servings per day and not smoking can add 14 years to an individual's life, according to a study published online in January in PloS Medicine. Researchers at the University of Cambridge's School of Clinical Medicine in England followed 20,244 people between the ages of 45 and 79 who had no known cardiovascular disease or cancer at the baseline survey, which was taken from 1993-97.

As of 2006, 1,987 had died. Those who practiced none of the four healthy behaviors had four times greater risk of dying during the study period than did those who participated in all of them. Those who engaged in two behaviors had double the mortality risk of people who practiced all of them.

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