(NaturalNews) If you could dramatically lower your risk of dying from all causes by 80 percent, would it be worth your effort to change a few simple lifestyle habits? Virtually everyone has a concern about chronic disease and mortality, especially as they get older, but researchers are now able to quantify a significantly reduced risk profile that can be achieved by adopting four common sense practices that will come as no surprise to health-minded individuals.
Medical scientists have known for some time that unhealthy lifestyle habits are a major, preventable contributor to the development of coronary artery disease. A research study team from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have published the result of their work in the American Journal of Epidemiology that highlights a significant link between lifestyle factors and heart health, adding even more evidence in support of regular exercise, eating a Mediterranean-style diet, keeping a normal weight and, most importantly, not smoking.
Smoking cessation is found to have the largest impact in lowering the risk of early death
Regarding the results of this study, lead author, Dr. Haitham Ahmed noted "To our knowledge, this is the first study to find a protective association between low-risk lifestyle factors and early signs of vascular disease, coronary heart disease and death." The team assessed more than 6,200 men and women, aged between 44 and 84 years, and followed their progression for a period of 7.6 years. All participants underwent a baseline coronary calcium screening CT test at the start of the study.
The researchers created a lifestyle scoring system ranging from 0 (least healthy) to 4 (most healthy) based on adherence to four established practices including overall diet, weight as determined by BMI scales, intensity and amount of physical activity and smoking. Interestingly, only 29 (less than two percent) of the participants satisfied all four healthy criteria. The scientists found that those who adopted all four healthy behaviors had an 80 percent lower death rate over that time period compared to participants with none of the healthy behaviors.
Not surprisingly, smoking avoidance was found to play the largest role in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and mortality. Dr. Ahmed concluded "While there are risk factors that people can't control, such as their family history and age... these lifestyle measures are things that people can change and consequently make a big difference in their health. That's why we think this is so important." Lowering the risk of death by 80 percent by adhering to four lifestyle practices is a common sense decision that should be adopted by every man, woman and child.
About the author: John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.