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June/July 2010 (vol. 07/1)

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Research Plus

Healthy lifestyles reduce mortality

‘Modest, but sustained, improvements to diet and lifestyle could have significant public health benefits’, finds a study of 4,886 UK adults. Adults randomly selected in 1984–85 were assigned a score according to four unhealthy behaviours at baseline – one point each for: smoking; eating fruit/vegetables fewer than three times a day; less than two hours’ physical activity per week; and weekly alcohol consumption above recommended limits. A total of 1,080 participants died within the follow-up period (mean 20 years) – 431 from cardiovascular diseases, 318 from cancer and 331 from other causes. Adjusted hazard ratios were significantly raised for scores of one, two, three or four points – a score of four was equivalent to being 12 years older in health terms.

Archives of Internal Medicine 2010; 170(8): 711–718.

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Occupational Health at Work June/July 2010 (vol. 07/1) pp38-39