High stress levels can shorten our lives – claims a recent study on life expectancy 

While stress has been known to be a silent killer, a study published in the BMJ Open journal based on data based on questionnaires and measurements which was collected from men and women in the age group of 25 – 74 mentioned that life expectancy could be drastically reduced for individuals who had high stress levels. On the other hand a person who led a healthy life style and included lots of fruits and vegetable in his or her diet could increase their life expectancy by 1.5 years and 0.9 years respectively.

It has often been said that the average life expectancy among various other risk factors in the quality of life led by a person, is greatly influenced by the high levels of stress that he or she carries with them.

The Researcher of the Study – Tommi Harkanen from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland said “”Before, life expectancy has usually been assessed based on only a few sociodemographic background factor groups, such as age, sex, and education. In this study, we wanted to assess the impact of several different factors to a person’s life expectancy, so we could compare their effects,”

It was found that one of the main causes of shortened life expectancy in the age group of 30 year old men were diabetes and smoking. While diabetes reduces it by 6.5 years, smoking takes away 6.5 years out of the life expectancy.

A person’s life expectancy the study claimed is reduced by 2.8 years by heavy stress.

A sedentary life style and lack of exercise reduces it by 2.4 years in the 30 year old men category whereas the consumption of fruits and vegetables added to the life expectancy.

It was noted that factors impacting the life expectancy of both men and women were the same. 

The study mentioned that in the socially weak population groups where mortality rates are higher,  lifestyle choices of heavy use of alcohol , smoking, lack of exercise and unhealthy diet were responsible .


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