Live a decade longer and be free from chronic illnesses by following 8 heart healthy metrics.
Paying attention to 8 cardiovascular health factors will considerably increase life expectancy, research suggests.
In this study, adults with higher scores for 8 cardiovascular health metrics lived nearly a decade longer than those who scored poorly.
The metric is known as Life’s Essential 8 and has been developed by the American Heart Association.
→ Enjoying this article? You can get FREE email updates with more articles like this from PsyBlog by clicking here.
It is based on a scoring system which measures a set of health factors and lifestyle behaviours.
To estimate people’s life expectancy, the research team assessed cardiovascular health levels based on the Life’s Essential 8 score, which consists of:
- a healthy diet,
- physical activity,
- not smoking,
- correct sleep duration,
- maintaining a healthy weight,
- controlling cholesterol,
- healthy blood glucose,
- and healthy blood pressure.
Another study previously suggested that people who committed to these metrics lived longer and were more healthy.
According to the study’s senior author, Professor Lu Qi, the findings indicate:
“That you can modify your lifestyle to live longer.”
More than 23,000 adults participated in this study with an eight-year follow up.
The scoring system ranged from zero to 100 points, from low as below 50, moderate as 50 to 79, and high as 80 or higher.
Compared to adults who scored lowest, those who scored 80 or higher, at age 50 had a life expectancy of nine more years.
Smoking, sleep, blood glucose levels, and physical activity appeared to be the most important life expectancy factors.
Non-smokers lived 7.4 years longer than those who were heavy smokers.
Participants who slept between seven to nine hours a night lived five more years compared to those with either not enough or too much sleep.
Higher score for maintaining blood glucose levels showed a life expectancy of 4.9 more years.
A life expectancy of 4.6 more years was seen in people with higher physical activity than those with the least.
Professor Nathan Wong, a cardiovascular epidemiologist, commenting on this study, said:
“Information on psychosocial factors such as stress and depression, as well as on social determinants of health such as access to health care, may also play an important role and modify the impact that the key cardiovascular health metrics have on cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular outcomes.
As the study looked exclusively at mortality, effects on non-fatal cardiovascular outcomes should also be examined, given their substantial impact on health care utilization.”
- People who share more of their resources with others enjoy higher life expectancy.
- Foods rich in Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) have been found to improve life expectancy.
- Walking 5.6 km or 3 miles a day lowers the risk of death by about two-thirds in adults.
- Avoiding sugar-rich diets will increase human lifespan by many years.
About the author
The study was published in the journal Circulation (Ma et al., 2023).
Hello, and welcome to PsyBlog. Thanks for dropping by.
This site is all about scientific research into how the mind works.
It’s mostly written by psychologist and author, Dr Jeremy Dean.
I try to dig up fascinating studies that tell us something about what it means to be human.