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Health Quartet

February 5, 2008

Researchers identify four health habits that correlate with a longer lifespan.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
A four-point plan for longevity. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Four simple health habits may add fourteen years to your lifespan. This according to a new report by University of Cambridge epidemiologist Kay-Tee Khaw and her colleagues. They tracked twenty thousand people over more than a decade. Each person was given a health score of zero to 4, earning a point each for not smoking, eating five fruits or vegetables per day, exercising, and drinking moderate alcohol.

KAY-TEE KHAW (University of Cambridge):
We were trying to quantify health behaviors that were actually being undertaken by people living their ordinary, everyday lives. This wasn’t an intervention study; we just simply assessed what people were doing every day.

HIRSHON:
People with all four healthy habits lived fourteen years longer, on average, than people with none. The effect was independent of economic class and even body mass index, a measure of obesity. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.