Impact on Life Expectancy

I’ll stay with the same theme here for a minute…

I found this one page graphic in the back of Newsweek (6/22/09) which caught my eye.  It was titled “Can You Cheat Death”.  It had some interesting facts from Livingto100.com, Archives of Internal Medicine, PLOS Medicine, and the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

  • Life expectancy for the average American man = 75.2 years (80.4 for a woman).
  • Positive impacts:
    • +10 years if you have a blood relative who has lived to be 95 or older
    • +5 years if you regularly play puzzles like Scrabble or Sudoku
    • +5 years if you’re a married man
    • +5 years if you take 81mg of aspirin a day
    • +3 years if you eat 5 daily servings of fruits / vegetables
    • +2 years if you floss daily
    • +1.7 years if you go to church regularly
  • Negative impacts:
    • -0.5 years if you drink more than 5 cups of coffee a day
    • -1 year if you get less than 6-8 hours of sleep a night
    • -1 year if you have a family history of diabetes
    • -2.5 years if you don’t wear sunscreen and are outside a lot
    • -5 years if you are slowly putting on weight
    • -5 years if you regularly feel stressed out
    • -5 years if you eat red meat more than 2x per week
    • -5 years if you have less than 12 years of education
    • -7 years if you engage in unprotected sex with multiple partners
    • -15 years if you smoke
    • -15 years if you use IV drugs

Obviously, these are only average so you’re not doomed, but I view them as reasonable indicators of how you might influence your length of life.

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