TUESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- A healthy lifestyle nearly
halves nonsmokers' risk of death from cancer, cardiovascular
disease and other causes, a new study finds.
Most lifestyle guidelines for reducing the risk of illness and
death warn against smoking or other types of tobacco use. But about
80 percent of Americans are never or former smokers, so the authors
of this study wanted to assess the impact of healthy living
recommendations other than tobacco avoidance.
They looked at diet and lifestyle questionnaires filled out in
1992 and 1993 by almost 112,000 non-smoking women and men in the
Cancer Prevention Study. The participants were scored based on
their adherence to American Cancer Society prevention guidelines
regarding body mass index, physical activity, diet and alcohol
After 14 years of follow-up, participants who were highly
compliant with the recommendations had a 42 percent lower risk of
death vs. those who were the least compliant. Among those with
higher compliance scores, the risk of cardiovascular-related death
was 58 percent lower for women and 48 percent lower for men, and
the risk of cancer death was 24 percent lower in women and 30
percent lower in men.
The findings were similar for both never and former smokers.
The study appears online in the journal
Cancer Biomarkers, Epidemiology, and Prevention.
The American Academy of Family Physicians offers tips for
maintaining your health.