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Unhealthy men die 10 years sooner

>> Saturday, September 19, 2009

According to a new UK study, middle-aged smokers with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels are at risk of dying 10 years before healthier peers.

The study looked at over 19,000 civil servants aged 40 to 69, the BBC reports, and followed them over 38 years. It found that men with those risk factors could expect a life that’s 10 years shorter after 50 years of age.

The study, which began in 1967, checked participants’ height, weight, blood pressure, lung function, cholesterol and blood glucose levels. It also gave them a questionnaire about medical history, smoking habits, employment and marital status. About 42 per cent of the men were smokers, 39 per cent had high blood pressure and 51 per cent had high cholesterol. By 2005, 13,501 had died.

“We’ve shown that men at age 50 who smoke, have high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels can expect to survive to 74 years of age, while those who have none of these risk factors can expect to live until 83,” said Robert Clarke, who led the study.”If you stop smoking or take measures to deal with high blood pressure or body weight, it will translate into increased life expectancy. “

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