London: Positive lifestyle choices can pave the way for a healthy old age, new research has discovered.
Researcher Dr Siverine Sabia, from the University College London, said the study revealed that the cumulative impact of healthy behaviours on successful ageing – the greater the number of healthy behaviours, the greater the benefit.
Those who were active, ate fruit and vegetables, didn’t smoke and limited their alcohol had the best chance of enjoying n active old age. Participants who engaged in all four behaviours had more than triple the chance of enjoying a healthy old age compared with those who engaged in none.
The study lexamined the records of 5,100 men and women who did not have cancer, heart disease or stroke in the assessment phase during 1991-1994. Those still alive were then re-assessed in 2007-2009. Of the total participants, 549 had died during follow-up, 953 were classified as successfully ageing while the remaining people aged normally.
Successful agers were more likely to have a higher education than the normally ageing group – 32 per cent against 24 per cent – and 18 per cent in the deceased group.
In the study population, five per cent of people did not engage in any of the four healthy behaviours.
Dr Sabia said: ‘Although individual healthy behaviours are moderately associated with successful ageing, their combined impact is quite substantial.
‘Multiple healthy behaviours appear to increase the chance of reaching old age disease-free and fully functional in an additive manner.’