Monday, 25 January 2021 10:53

Adopting healthy lifestyles can reduce chronic diseases

The current systematic review and meta-analysis of 142 studies from around the world compared participants with least-healthy lifestyles to those with the healthiest lifestyles and found that an overall healthy lifestyle was related to a considerably lower risk to develop cardiovascular diseases or die from cardiovascular disease or any other  disease.

The results were generally consistent among populations from different continents, racial groups and socioeconomic backgrounds. The authors concluded that adopting healthy lifestyles could also benefit individuals with cardiovascular disease and cancer and, comprehensively, tackling multiple lifestyle risk factors could be the cornerstone for reducing the global disease burden.

Healthy and least healthy lifestyles are  calculated via lifestyle scores. Examples of definitions of lifestyle scores (i.e. Simple Score*):

Smoking:                         1 point for never smokers, 0 points for smokers

Alcohol:                           1 point for 5-30g for men and 5-16g for women/day; 0 point for <5g/d or >30g/d

Physical activity:              1 point for >30 min moderate to vigorous exercise/day; 0 point for < 30 min of physical exercise/d

Body mass index:            1 point for 18.5-24.9 kg/m2; 0 point for <18.5 or > 25 kg/m2

(*) the simple score includes only behavioral factors. These are just examples and different studies may have varied definitions of healthy lifestyle factors; some studies may give more weight to certain variables or may have included also sleep duration, blood pressure, sedentary lifestyle.


Zhang Y et al, 2021, Combined lifestyle factors, all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies, J Epidemiol Community Health; 75:92-99, https://doi:10.1136/jech-2020-214050 


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