Smoking, diabetes, and stress mostly shorten life expectancy

Scientists from the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (Helsinki, Finland) have analysed factors that affect life expectancy. More than 38.5 thousand participants in the Finnish National Survey, aged 25 to 74 years, were studied and observed for 27 years. During this time, 4310 deaths were recorded. 

It turned out that in the group of 30-year-old men the main risk factors are smoking (reduces life expectancy by 6.6 years), diabetes (by 6.5 years) and stress (by 2.8 years). Lack of physical activity among young men resulted in a shortened life expectancy of 2.4 years. At the same time, regular consumption of fruits allows increasing life expectancy by 1.4 years, and of vegetables by 0.9 years.

In the group of 30-year-old women, smoking reduced life expectancy by 5.5 years, diabetes by 5.3 years and severe stress by 2.3 years. The same three risk factors (smoking, diabetes and stress) led to a reduction in life expectancy in the group of elderly people, but their impact was not as significant as in the 30-year-old participants. 

Scientists noted a mixed impact of stress on life expectancy: it was found that stress factors can contribute to longer life. This was observed when a person felt that their stress levels were equal to other people.

March 12, 2020, 10:49 a.m.

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