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Study Identifies Risk Factors Associated With Risk of Dying Prematurely

The average lifespan in the United States is 78.5 years. According to a recent study, smoking, alcohol abuse, and lack of physical activity are the biggest behavioral risk factors for dying prematurely. 

For their study, the researchers used data from the US Health and Retirement Study, which included 13,611 adults with an average age of 69.3. The study looked at the association between 57 behavioral and social factors and the risk of dying prematurely. Participants were followed for an average of 6 years.

The researchers found that smoking, alcohol abuse, and lack of physical activity were the strongest behavioral risk factors associated with the risk of dying prematurely. In addition, the following social and economic factors were associated with a higher risk of dying prematurely:

  • financial difficulties;
  • unemployment history;
  • childhood adversity;
  • divorce history;
  • lower life satisfaction

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of British Columbia. It was published online ahead of print on June 22, 2020 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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