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Life Expectancy Decreases Increased Weight and Smoking

Posted Mar 27 2010 12:00am

A new study has shown that Americans who smoke, have high blood pressure, high blood sugar and are overweight are shortening their life expectancy. Men may be shortening their lives by 4.9 - 6.7 years while women could be shaving 4.1 - 5.7 years off their lives, the researchers say. However, there is variance in the effects of these factors on life expectancy across the United States based on geography, race and income. The patterns of smoking, high blood pressure, high blood glucose and overweight/obesity account for almost 20 percent of differences in life expectancy across the country. These four risk factors account for 75 percent of differences in cardiovascular deaths and up to 50 percent of differences in cancer deaths in various areas of the United States. More education is needed to help people manage these health issues.

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