Four healthy lifestyle factors--never smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and following a healthy diet—may be associated with as much as an 80 percent reduction in the risk of developing common chronic diseases, according to a recent study in JAMA’s Archives of Internal Medicine.
Cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes--chronic diseases that together account for most deaths--are largely preventable. "An impressive body of research has implicated lifestyle factors such as smoking, physical activity, diet, and body weight in the causes of these diseases," the authors write.
Earl Ford, M.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and colleagues assessed data from 23,513 adults age 35 to 65. Participants completed an assessment of their body weight and height, an interview that included questions about diseases, a questionnaire on lifestyle habits, and a dietary questionnaire.
Responses were assessed for adherence to four healthy lifestyle factors: Never smoking, having a body mass index lower than 30, exercising for at least three and a half hours per week and following healthy dietary principles.
Most participants had one to three of these health factors. Over eight years of follow-up, 2,006 participants developed new cases of diabetes, heart attack, stroke, or cancer. Individuals with healthier lifestyle factors were less likely to develop chronic diseases.
Participants who had all four factors at the beginning of the study had a 78 percent lower risk of developing any of the chronic diseases.
In addition to healthy lifestyle habits, traditional Chinese medicine therapies such as acupuncture and massage can aid in disease prevention by:
• Promoting natural healing.
• Treating underlying energy imbalances.
• Enhancing immunity by stimulating lymph flow.
• Reducing stress and fatigue.
• Improving circulation.
Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture, massage and Chinese herbal medicine therapy for the treatment of a wide range of conditions as well as for overall wellness. To schedule an appointment at the Clinic call (305) 595-9500. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs ask for Joe Calareso, Admissions Director.