Paris: Middle-aged male smokers with high cholesterol and blood pressure die, on average, a decade sooner than peers without any of these heart disease risk
factors, according to a study published today.
Many studies have shown that not smoking, eating
healthily and exercising cut heart disease rates.
But few have tackled the problem from the other end:
to what extend is life expectancy shortened by having these
heart disease risk factors?
To find out, researchers led by Robert Clark from the
University of Oxford sifted through data from 19,000 male
British civil servants who were examined in the late 1960s
when they were 40 to 69 years old.
Participants provided detailed information about their
medical history, lifestyle and smoking habits, and doctors
recorded their weight, blood pressure, lung function,
cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
More than 7,000 of the surviving participants were
re-evaluated in 1997, 28 years after the initial examination.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal
(BMJ), found that the men who faced a triple risk threat at
the outset were two-to-three times more likely to have died of
a heart-related problem that men free of all three risk
On average, their lives were shortened by a decade,
the study found.