For this month's Educational Empowerment we are highlighting research hot off the press April 2018 from the journal Circulation. The study was conducted by Harvard School of Public Health and looked at lifestyle factors affect on human lifespan.
Where We are Now:
As of 2015 the United States life expectancy was 79.3 years, which ranked 31st globally.
CDC reports 85-90% of the $2.6 trillion US healthcare spending is on chronic illness.
CDC reports as of 2012, 1 out of every 2 people had AT LEAST 1 chronic health condition.
CDC reports of 2014, 7 of 10 leading causes of death in the US were due to chronic illness.
Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US population
by Li Y et al. 2018
Highlights from the study:
Lifestyle factors: cessation of smoking, 30 minutes of moderate daily exercise, high quality diet, modest alcohol intake, and maintenance of optimal body mass index
Dr. Van's Thoughts
This new study comes as no surprise but it does quantify and solidify something we already knew. Healthy lifestyle increases lifespan by over a decade! The news is empowering; we can take control of our destiny and increase our lifespan through healthy lifestyle choices. This also brings up an interesting new idea 'healthspan'. Healthspan is like lifespan but is the length of time you are able to remain independent and do the things you love. Even though the US lifespan is only 79.3 years our healthspan is even less. Through healthy lifestyle choices our lifespan and healthspan will be close to the same. This study is also exciting because it leaves room for optimization like by adding regular Chiropractic care, proper sleep hygiene, intermittent fasting/ caloric restriction, supplementation we might be able to increase our lifespan even more.
Healthcare is transforming from drugs & surgery to strategic living. Strategic living is making the best lifestyle choices and habits. The most common diseases today are chronic lifestyle diseases like diabetes, back pain, heart disease etc. This Healthcare landscape takes the patients health out of the Doctors hands in to the patients hands. It will mean patients taking responsibility for their own body & health. This might seem overwhelming but in reality is a huge opportunity. The patient no longer need to feel like a victim of circumstance to their disease. They are in control and their destiny is in their own hands.