Healthier lifestyles may increase lifespan even in people with multiple chronic conditions

September 22, 2020

A very healthy lifestyle is associated with up to 6.3 years longer life for men and 7.6 years for women, regardless of the presence of multiple chronic conditions, according to a study published September 22 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Yogini Chudasama of the University of Leicester, and colleagues. As noted by the authors, to their knowledge, this is the first study to quantify whether the risk of death associated with individual and combined risk factors depends on the presence of multiple chronic conditions.

The number of people living with two or more long-term physical or mental health conditions is rapidly increasing in number worldwide, and they have poorer health outcomes and a higher mortality risk. A healthy lifestyle has been associated with longer life expectancy, but it has not been clear if this is also the case in individuals with multiple chronic conditions. To address this gap in knowledge, Chudasama and colleagues analyzed data collected between 2006 and 2010 from 480,940 adults (median age of 58 years [range 38-73]) in the UK Biobank. The participants were followed up until 2016. The researchers assessed the presence of 36 chronic conditions and four self-reported lifestyle factors: leisure-time physical activity, smoking, diet, and alcohol consumption. Limitations include the observational nature of the study, which precludes conclusions regarding causality, and the non-representative sample, which was 95% white and more affluent than the general UK population.

In men with multiple chronic conditions, an unhealthy score was associated with a nonsignificant gain of 1.5 life years at 45 years compared to a very unhealthy score, while a healthy score was associated with a statistically significant gain of 4.5 years, and a very healthy score was associated with a statistically significant gain of 6.3 years. Corresponding estimates in women -- 3.5 years, 6.4 years, and 7.6 years -- were all statistically significant gains. A healthier lifestyle was consistently associated with longer life expectancy across various individual risk factors and irrespective of the presence of multiple long-term medical conditions. Among individual lifestyle factors, no current smoking was associated with the largest survival benefit. At 45 years, current smokers had an estimated 5 to 6 years shorter life expectancy versus current non-smokers. The findings suggest that public health recommendations about adopting a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing chronic long-term conditions apply equally to individuals who already have multiple chronic conditions.

Dr. Chudasama says "More individuals are living with multiple chronic conditions, impacting their health and daily lives. With access to a UK dataset of over 450,000 adults we were able to investigate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle in individuals with multiple illnesses. We found a healthy lifestyle, in particular abstinence from smoking, increased life expectancy by as much as 7 years. Our study has important implications for the public's health, as we hope our findings have shown that it's never too late to make vital lifestyle changes."
-end-
>Research Article

Peer reviewed; Observational study; People

In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available paper: http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003332

Funding: YC is funded by a University of Leicester College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology PhD studentship in collaboration with Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care East Midlands (CLAHRC EM), now recommissioned as NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East Midlands (ARC EM). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: I have read the journal's policy and the authors of this manuscript have the following competing interests. FZ is funded with an unrestricted educational grant from the NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands to the University of Leicester. KK has acted as a consultant and speaker for Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi-Aventis, Lilly, Servier, and Merck Sharp & Dohme. He has received grants in support of investigator and investigator-initiated trials from Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi-Aventis, Lilly, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Merck Sharp & Dohme. KK has received funds for research and honoraria for speaking at meetings and has served on advisory boards for Lilly, Sanofi-Aventis, Merck Sharp & Dohme, and Novo Nordisk. MJD has acted as consultant, advisory board member, and speaker for Novo Nordisk, Sanofi-Aventis, Lilly, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Boehringer Ingelheim, AstraZeneca, and Janssen; an advisory board member for Servier and Gilead Sciences Ltd; and as a speaker for NAPP, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, and Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Inc. TY has received funding from the Leicester NIHR Leicester BRC. All other authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation: Chudasama YV, Khunti K, Gillies CL, Dhalwani NN, Davies MJ, Yates T, et al. (2020) Healthy lifestyle and life expectancy in people with multimorbidity in the UK Biobank: A longitudinal cohort study. PLoS Med 17(9): e1003332. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003332

PLOS

Related Smoking Articles from Brightsurf:

Smoking rates falling in adults, but stroke survivors' smoking rates remain steady
While the rate of Americans who smoke tobacco has fallen steadily over the last two decades, the rate of stroke survivors who smoke has not changed significantly.

What is your risk from smoking? Your network knows!
A new study from researchers at Penn's Annenberg School for Communication found that most people, smokers and non-smokers alike, were nowhere near accurate in their answers to questions about smoking's health effects.

Want to quit smoking? Partner up
Kicking the habit works best in pairs. That's the main message of a study presented today at EuroPrevent 2019, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Smoking and mortality in Asia
In this analysis of data from 20 studies conducted in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and India with more than 1 million participants, deaths associated with smoking continued to increase among men in Asia grouped by the years in which they were born.

Predictors of successfully quitting smoking among smokers registered at the quit smoking clinic at a public hospital in northeastern Malaysia
In the current issue of Family Medicine and Community Health, Nur Izzati Mohammad et al. consider how cigarette smoking is one of the risk factors leading to noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory system diseases and cancer.

Restaurant and bar smoking bans do reduce smoking, especially among the highly educated
Smoking risk drops significantly in college graduates when they live near areas that have completely banned smoking in bars and restaurants, according to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

How the UK smoking ban increased wellbeing
Married women with children reported the largest increase in well-being following the smoking bans in the UK in 2006 and 2007 but there was no comparable increase for married men with children.

Smoking study personalizes treatment
A simple blood test is allowing Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) researchers to determine which patients should be prescribed varenicline (Chantix) to stop smoking and which patients could do just as well, and avoid side effects, by using a nicotine patch.

A biophysical smoking gun
While much about Alzheimer's disease remains a mystery, scientists do know that part of the disease's progression involves a normal protein called tau, aggregating to form ropelike inclusions within brain cells that eventually strangle the neurons.

A case where smoking helped
A mutation in the hemoglobin of a young woman in Germany was found to cause her mild anemia.

Read More: Smoking News and Smoking Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.