New Research Suggests That Adopting A Healthy Lifestyle May Reduce The Impact Of Life-Shortening Genes By Over 60%

Song_about_summer - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

It’s well-known that personal genetics, or the genes we inherit from our parents, play a large role in lifespan. But, a recent genetic study suggests that adopting a healthy lifestyle might reduce the impact of life-shortening genes by over 60%.

So, although genes can influence lifespan and the risk of chronic illnesses, the research team said that an unhealthy lifestyle independently raises the risk of premature death by 78%, regardless of genetic predisposition.

Polygenic risk scores help provide a number that summarizes disease risk due to an individual’s genes. So, it assesses numerous genetic variations to determine a person’s overall genetic inclination toward a longer or shorter lifespan.

In addition to these genetic markers, factors such as alcohol consumption, tobacco use, sleep, physical activity, and diet all play crucial roles in determining lifespan.

However, scientists were still unsure of how effectively a healthy lifestyle could counteract genetic factors that potentially reduce an individual’s lifespan.

To investigate this, the research team analyzed data from 353,742 adults who were enrolled in the UK Biobank from 2006 to 2010. The health of each participant was also tracked until 2021.

This, as well as data from the LifeGen cohort study, helped generate polygenic risk scores categorizing the participants into three groups. Approximately 20% were added to the long lifespan group; meanwhile, 60% were considered intermediate, and 20% were considered short.

Additionally, the research team developed a weighted healthy lifestyle score incorporating factors such as moderate alcohol intake, non-smoking, healthy body shape, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and a balanced diet.

Based on data from the U.S. NHANES study, 23% of participants were classified into favorable lifestyle categories; meanwhile, 56% were intermediate, and 22% were unfavorable.

Song_about_summer – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

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