It’s Not Too Late to Get Healthier, Even if Middle-Aged

Are your eventual health problems a matter of fate by the time you reach middle age?

A study from the Medical University of South Carolina asked whether middle-aged folks could improve their health and longevity by making healthful changes in lifestyle.  15,708 study participants, ages 45-64, were surveyed with regards to four “healthy lifestyle” components, namely:

  • five or more fruits and vegetables daily
  • regular exercise
  • healthy weight range (BMI 18.5-29.9)
  • no current smoking

When first surveyed, 8.5% of the participants had all four of the healthy lifestyle components.  When surveyed six years later, 8.4% of the remainder had adopted these four healthy lifestyle features.  Overall death rate and cardiovascular disease events were monitored over the next four years.  Compared to the study participants who did not adopt a healthy lifestyle, the new adopters had a 40% lower incidence of death from all causes and 35% less cardiovascular disease events.

So middle-aged people can improve their longevity and avoid cardiovascular disease by making healthy lifestyle changes.  These improvements are very significant in degree and comparable to, if not better than, results seen with many expensive medications and invasive medical procedures.

Why not make some changes today?

Steve Parker, M.D.

References: King, Dana E., et al.  Turning Back the Clock: Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle in Middle Age.  American Journal of Medicine, 120(2007): 598-603.

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