Maintaining five healthy habits is associated with more than a decade of additional life expectancy after age 50, according to a study in Circulation. The habits include never smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise at the recommended levels, moderate alcohol intake and a healthy dietary pattern. The observational study was based on data from two epidemiological studies of health professionals that included more than 123,000 women and men followed for 34 years, as well as data from nationally representative surveys.
People who engaged in the five healthy habits lived a 12 to 14 years longer, compared with those without these habits. For example, at age 50, a woman with all five healthy habits could expect to live to 93 years, in comparison to 79 for a woman who did not have a healthy lifestyle. In men, lifespan increased from an average age of 76, to 88.