Three risk factors in your 50s that could greatly influence longevity – assess risk

Study finds being OUTDOORS helps you live longer

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Conducted by Trinity College, the study established 14 independent risk factors for lifespan.

Of these 14, three were considered to be particularly influential.

They were:
• Exercise
• Smoking
• Gender.

What did the study say about gender?

The study found being a man shortened the odds of mortality.

They discovered men over the age of 50 were one-and-a-half times more likely to die in the succeeding four years than women in the same period of time.

Meanwhile, people with a cancer diagnosis were three-and-a-half times more likely pass away during the same time.

While these results may sound unnerving, there are a couple of caveats.

The study was only conducted on Irish participants.

Why does this matter?

Every culture has a different diet or set of lifestyle cultures meaning what is said of one country may be different in another, so a man may be one- and-a-half times more likely to die than a woman in Ireland, but more or less likely to die in another country.

Furthermore, the study mainly focused on people who had survived a heart attack.

Dr Peter May said: “By definition, we’re talking to people who have had a heart attack and that didn’t die from it instantly, and heart attacks are obviously something that do kill people instantly in a way that cancer doesn’t.

“It doesn’t reflect the relatively deadliness of the two conditions.”

Despite these caveats, the study still holds relevance for people outside of Ireland.

Researchers added their data showed participants who smoked past the age of 30 were two-and-a-half times more likely to pass away in the succeeding four years.

Dr May said the results showed the importance of keeping active in later life: “Getting regular exercise, getting your heart rate going in older age is associated with good outcomes and if you’re not mobile, then that is associated with poorer outcomes.

“Stopping smoking and doing exercise, that means moving around but also lifting and other types of stretching and strengthening, are all shown to be really good reinforcing protective strategies.”

Although smoking may be an easy thing to avoid, it is not at all easy to stop; for those who want to quit there are a bevy of resources out there to get them on the road to become a non-smoker.

Contact your local NHS Stop Smoking Service.

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