Key to healthy ageing ‘discovered’ in 35-year study


A 35-year-study conducted in the UK has confirmed what most of us already knew — that a clean lifestyle combined with exercise is better for our long-term health.

Back in 1979 2,500 men were asked to follow five rules: eat well, work out, drink less, keep their weight down and never smoke. Some 35 years on, 25 pensioners managed to stick to the plan and, unsurprisingly, they were better off for it. Those who stuck to the plan have “dramatically cut their risk of cancer, diabetes, heart-attack, stroke and dementia.”

It was recommended that the participants walk several kilometres a day, ride 15km or more per day, or do other “vigorous exercise”. The men were re-questioned and had their medical records analysed every five years.

Study leader Professor Peter Elwood, of Cardiff University, said: “As a nation, we must wake up to the preventive power of living a healthy life. Thirty years ago, only 25 men in our study followed all five of our recommended healthy steps.

“Following these steps did not give them complete protection against disease but the men who developed a disease, did so at a much older age than the men neglectful of their lifestyle. The development of heart disease was delayed by up to 12 years, and it was up to around an additional six years before dementia took its grip. It shows that following a healthy lifestyle staves off disease and premature death.”


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