October 27, 2020 20:19 (IST)
Follow us:
facebook-white sharing button
twitter-white sharing button
instagram-white sharing button
youtube-white sharing button
Stop hyping up China threat: Beijing to Mike Pompeo | Vote for grand alliance to build a new Bihar: Sonia Gandhi appeals to voters | 'Nitish Kumar mentally and physically exhausted': Tejashwi Yadav on Bihar CM's '8-9 children' jibe | Rajnath Singh's address at Army Commanders’ Conference postponed to Oct 28 | India reports 36,470 Covid-19 cases, tally nears 80-lakh mark
Learning and staying in shape key to longer lifespan, finds study

Learning and staying in shape key to longer lifespan, finds study

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 15 Oct 2017, 08:19 pm
New York, Oct 15 (IBNS): People who are overweight cut their life expectancy by two months for every extra kilogramme of weight they carry, research suggests.

A major study of the genes that underpin longevity has also found that education leads to a longer life, with almost a year added for each year spent studying beyond school.

Other key findings are that people who give up smoking, study for longer and are open to new experiences might expect to live longer.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh analysed genetic information from more than 600,000 people alongside records of their parents’ lifespan.

Because people share half of their genetic information with each of their parents, the team were able to calculate the impact of various genes on life expectancy, read the University of Edinburgh website.

Lifestyle choices are influenced to a certain extent by our DNA – genes, for example, have been linked to increased alcohol consumption and addiction.

The researchers were therefore able to work out which have the greatest influence on lifespan.

Their method was designed to rule out the chances that any observed associations could be caused by a separate, linked factor.

This enabled them to pinpoint exactly which lifestyle factors cause people to live longer, or shorter, lives.

They found that cigarette smoking and traits associated with lung cancer had the greatest impact on shortening lifespan.

For example, smoking a packet of cigarettes per day over a lifetime knocks an average of seven years off life expectancy, they calculated.

But smokers who give up can eventually expect to live as long as somebody who has never smoked.

Body fat and other factors linked to diabetes also have a negative influence on life expectancy.

"Our study has estimated the causal effect of lifestyle choices. We found that, on average, smoking a pack a day reduces lifespan by 7 years, whilst losing one kilogram of weight will increase your lifespan by two months," Peter Joshi , Chancellor’s Fellow, Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics.

The study also identified two new DNA differences that affect lifespan. The first – in a gene that affects blood cholesterol levels – reduces lifespan by around eight months.

The second – in a gene linked to the immune system – adds around half a year to life expectancy.

The research, published in Nature Communications, was funded by the Medical Research Council.

 

Image:Wikimedia commons