home
RSS
April 26th, 2010
08:41 PM ET

Unhealthy behaviors can triple, quadruple death risk

By Ann J. Curley
CNN Medical News Assignment Manager

It’s no secret that certain lifestyle behaviors can have a negative impact on our health. A new study in the  Archives of Internal Medicine finds that the combined impact of smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption, and eating a diet low in fruits and vegetables, can triple or quadruple our chances of death compared with practicing none of those behaviors.

Norwegian researchers interviewed 4,886 adult individuals in the United Kingdom in 1984 to 1985. Researchers calculated a health behavior score based on whether the individuals smoked, drank alcoholic beverages, ate fruits and vegetables in their diet, and participated in physical activity. One point was given for each behavior. Participants were followed for a mean period of 20 years. 1080 participants died, 431 from cardiovascular disease, 318 from cancer, and 331 from other causes. Each negative behavior  combined to increase the risk of death, especially smoking.

Lead study author Elisabeth Kvaavik, Ph.D., of the Department of Nutrition at the University of Oslo, Norway, described the significance of their study as showing that “health behaviors work together to have a combined effect on risk of dying that is quite strong and significant.”

“Doing all four poor behaviors increased the risk of dying between three and four times depending on cause of death, compared with having none of these poor behaviors," according to Kvaavik. "But also having, for instance, two poor and two healthy behaviors, doubles the risk of dying compared to having only healthy behaviors.”

Kvaavik said that one of the most interesting findings of their study is that “having all these poor behaviors had the same effect on risk of death as being 12 years older.”

Modestly changing behaviors can have a big health impact. Kvaavik says she wants people to learn that “…modest improvements in all these lifestyle factors may significantly reduce the risk of dying and improve health."

Specifically, she mentioned eating  fruit and vegetables more than three times daily, quitting smoking, exercising two hours or more per week (or about half an hour per day) as well as limiting alcohol to  two glasses of wine or beer per day for women and three glasses for men. These goals, she said, should be achievable for most, otherwise healthy, people.

"It is not necessary to do strenuous exercising, eat very many vegetables or to totally avoid alcohol to improve health. Modest improvements will help," she said.

She notes one exception to her guidance on modest behavior. “Smoking should be avoided, as this is the factor with the strongest individual effect on health of those studied here. That only modest improvements will reduce the risk of an early death may encourage many to try changing their lifestyles.”

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. bdunn02

    Everyone born on this planet has a 100-percent chance of death. If you double or triple that, you have a 200- or 300-percent likelihood of death. I'm not sure how a 200-percent chance of dying is worse than a 100-percent chance.

    April 26, 2010 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. William

    So what is your point Mr. bdunn02 ? God Tells you in the Bible to take care of your body. Also, that YOU are the Temple of your body and should not desecrated.

    Instinctively, you should protect and preserve your body from damage.

    April 28, 2010 at 03:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. inde

    This article misses one important point. Pay people a living wage so that people can afford to eat better. If you have 5 dollars in your pocket you are not going to eat fruits and veggies. It's economic.

    April 29, 2010 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. kay

    Three out of four isn't too bad, but how many articles about the benefits of exercising will I need to read before I discipline myself to do it?
    Thanks for the frequent reminders.

    April 29, 2010 at 04:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Cynic

    Don't you find it interesting that those who have power over us will tell us, on one hand, that our life expectancy has improved due to medical advances, so the retirement age must be raised accordingly? And then, on the other hand, tell us that we are shortening our lives with our lifestyle choices and, therefore, legislative action must be taken to force us to change "for our own good?" Can't we see that the powerful just want to control us and that they will contradict themselves at anytime to justify their control over us?

    May 3, 2010 at 08:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. jeanster

    Good point, inde. Fresh healthy food, whole food markets, and organic food are the most expensive. Also, if you are undernourished, you may not have the energy to eat well and will take the easiest course, which is usually fast food.

    May 3, 2010 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Kathy

    Unhealthy behaviors can triple, quadruple death risk. Could that be because this behavior takes high risk which could result in death? That could explain why so many males have won the Darwin Award as about 300 to 400 males got this award by killing themselves by doing stupid things "(Unhealthy behaviors) before the first woman even made the runners up list.

    May 9, 2010 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. sdorttuii plmnr

    I'll right away seize your rss feed as I can not in finding your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you've any? Kindly allow me recognise in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

    June 27, 2015 at 03:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Denyse Lorrie

    A la securite sociale, tout est assure. Sauf la pendule. Ca, on ne risque pas de la voler, le personnel a les yeux constamment fixes dessus. https://www.cialis20.fr Bucho Leaves.

    December 6, 2019 at 05:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Sarah

    We contacted ..robinson.buckler @yahoo. com…… and he sent his herbal medicine and i and my Husband took it for 2week twice a day and we were completely cured from herpes.

    November 9, 2020 at 00:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. detectives en sagunto

    detectives privados en chiclana de la frontera

    https://www.argadetectives.com/detectives-motril-granada.html

    December 10, 2020 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. bitcoin to paypal

    Transfer from bitcoin to paypal very fast and low cost.

    https://exchanger24.org/xchange_btc_to_ppusd/

    December 15, 2020 at 20:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. zortilo nrel

    Great article and right to the point. I don't know if this is really the best place to ask but do you people have any thoughts on where to get some professional writers? Thx 🙂

    http://www.zortilonrel.com/

    January 25, 2021 at 08:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Ahmad Minnifield

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, subscribers? Our Company provide SMM Services that means (Social Media Marketing) that is directly using social network websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote a website. High Quality Services / Our prices are the cheapest in the market, starting at $0.01 / 24/7 Support / API Support for panel leaders / Best prices

    https://bit.ly/3iYGuRO

    January 28, 2021 at 00:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Marci Maccoll

    “Red Soda” burns 3 LBs every 5 days – When you drink this potent red soda before 10AM, the strange thing is, you actually melt twice as much fat as 1 hour on a joint-destroying treadmill. Now, thousands of men and women have jumped on this latest fat-melting trend and are losing up to 33 lbs of clogged fat in a month by simply drinking this red soda daily before 10am. That’s all there is to it. Just drink this soda before 10am and dissolve fat fast ==> Click here https://tinyurl.com/y6hzj4t7

    https://tinyurl.com/y6hzj4t7

    January 30, 2021 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Affiliate Robots

    Get Our Passive Income System – Step 1: Get our ready made niche websites, Step 2: Run our Premium Unlimited Traffic Step 3: Setup your Paypal account. Then just sit back and relax while you watch your paypal account receiving payments during the whole day 100 in auto pilot. More info: https://www.k3reviews.com/2020/08/16/monster-mode-700k/

    https://bit.ly/32Pc9iD

    February 1, 2021 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. vasúti szállítás Kínából Europa-Road Kft.

    I have been examinating out a few of your posts and i can state pretty good stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your site.

    https://europa-road.eu/hu/vasuti-szallitmanyozas.php

    February 9, 2021 at 03:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. w88

    w88You may confab it non simply once, simply ideally More haunt to be able to exhaustively consider approximately it and fall up with the C. H. Best establish be after.

    http://www.w88casino.net/w88/

    March 7, 2021 at 03:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Sex in the driveway

    w88Peculiar events are entirely overly mutual in GFF with limited meter offers on special deals.

    http://www.w88casino.net/w88/

    March 12, 2021 at 06:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. live european roulette

    Its not easy getting a ticket during psak season but there are tecxhniques and means where then you can go up!
    I caan reasonably be sure as not heard ffor tthese simple methods in which
    you can book tickets online andd offline at really cheap rates.

    Stay with me to find out more!

    There aree actually a several canyon air tours available iin the market.
    The most basic tours aree offered also on the South Rim andd West Rim for
    this canyon. Although thesee arre basic tours, you see all incredibly significant sights of the national
    Park. "Landing Tours" likewise a fantastic opportunity recommended at the
    park. Despite the faft that that landing tours only fly onn the canyon's West Rim, they aare unique
    withbin this you talk about actually land in the canyon, and ggo rafting
    down thhe Colorado River, and if raftig isn't your thing, then optt
    for Grrand Canyon Skywalk passes instead.

    With the field of covered with internet access, and knowledge,
    ppeople discover faster details they seek, they can discover quality books about the topics they seek
    and download them in just a minute and be reading them once the transaction been recently completed.

    These trips are all-inclusive aand along with free hotel shuttle service, a light breakfast, in addition a box lunch.
    Motor coaches are state-of-the-art and are decked out with oversized
    windows, lounge-style seats, TVs, andd spotless a bathroom.The driver-guides are 100% protessional as well as founts of.
    Buses are als equipped with tour narrations translated into more
    than 10 various.

    First and foremost you must have to price your trade-in safely and securely.
    You can get pricing from Kelley Bluee ntc33 download iphone.

    Here's the difficult part. Regardless of how attached you've become to your vehicle you need to be relistic about it'svalue.
    Dealerships do n't want high mileage or vehicles in poor condition and may also
    offer that you simply pricee that reflects which.
    Those vehicles are sold tto some wholesaler and brought to auction.

    The idea is to balance the books. Obtain a for a tree planting for every book yyou buy, publish or by means of.
    You decide. You'll like these fun and interestin online projects a
    person recycle books, trees and books. Each and every for the
    books purchase by planing trees with EcoLibris. EcoLibris gives you stickers you can use your books
    confirming your commitment to ecology. The sticker you put on a book states that a tree was planted
    for your paper applied to it. Looks so magickal and prophetic.

    Buyiong book online nicely be anything new only each timee you buying a bolk in the pocket
    the anticipation of flipping through fresh pages
    remains constant. For online retailers that the task of locating and
    acquiring the desired book is cut short, leaving more time for you to explore and choose.

    March 12, 2021 at 06:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. sextillion number

    w88The Forsaken Existence is unitary of the top humanoid apps.

    http://www.w88casino.net/w88/

    March 18, 2021 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. ntc33 android download

    Thanks for a marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it,
    you happen to be a great author. I will remember to bookmark
    your blog and will come back someday. I want to encourage that you continue your great job, have a nice weekend!

    Also visit my web blog: ntc33 android download

    April 3, 2021 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.