Behaviors such as smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity, and unhealthy alcohol consumption are leading risk factors for death.
In a recent study, researchers find that unhealthy lifestyles cost Canadians six years of life. The finding is published in PLOS Medicine.
Researchers from Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and University of Ottawa conducted the study. They assessed the Canadian burden attributable to unhealthy behaviors.
Researchers used data from the 2001 to 2008 Canadian Community Health Surveys. There were approximately 1,000,000 person-years of follow-up and 9,900 deaths in the development and validation datasets.
A predictive algorithm for 5 year risk of death—the Mortality Population Risk Tool (MPoRT) was used to predict future mortality and estimate the burden of smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity, and poor diet in the presence of sociodemographic and other risk factors.
After that, Canadian period life tables were generated using predicted risk of death from MPoRT. The burden of behavioral risk factors attributable to life expectancy was estimated using hazard ratios from the MPoRT risk model.
The result showed that for the 2010 Canadian population, unhealthy behavior attributable life expectancy lost was 6 years for both men and women.
In addition, Canadian life expectancy associated with health behavior recommendations was 17.9 years greater for people with the most risk lifestyles compared to those with the least risky lifestyles.
Smoking, by itself, was associated with 32% to 39% of the difference in life expectancy across social groups.
Researchers suggest that unhealthy behaviors have a substantial collective burden on the life expectancy of the Canadian population. In addition, MPoRT can be used to assess health burdens for sociodemographic groups or for small changes in population exposure to risks.
Citation: Manuel DG, et al. (2016) Measuring Burden of Unhealthy Behaviours Using a Multivariable Predictive Approach: Life Expectancy Lost in Canada Attributable to Smoking, Alcohol, Physical Inactivity, and Diet. PLoS Med 13: e1002082. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002082.
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