Researchers say learning and staying in shape help the possibilities of having a longer lifespan.


According to a study by the University of Edinburgh, people who are overweight cut their life expectancy by two months for every extra kilogram of weight they carry.

To arrive at the findings, the researchers analysed genetic information of more than 600,000 people alongside records of their parents’ lifespan.

They calculated the impact of various genes on life expectancy. The analysis done helped the researchers figure out those who had the greatest influence on lifespan.


After the study, the researchers arrived at the conclusion that cigarette smoking and traits associated with lung cancer had the greatest impact on shortening lifespan.

They were also able to determine exactly which lifestyle factors cause people to live longer or shorter lives.

Jim Wilson, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, said: “The power of big data and genetics allow us to compare the effect of different behaviors and diseases in terms of months and years of life lost or gained, and to distinguish between mere association and causal effect.”


Peter Joshi, chancellor’s fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute, further explained the findings of the research.

“Our study has estimated the causal effect of lifestyle choices. We found that, on average, smoking a pack a day reduces lifespan by seven years, whilst losing one kilogram of weight will increase your lifespan by two months,” he said.

The research was published in Nature Communications.


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