Social relationships and the risk of dying

The Introductionswim socialising

Hopefully this series of articles isn’t suggesting I’m becoming morbid with the focus on the risk of death! It’s just that a number of interesting review papers I have read lately are strongly suggesting the need for older people to stay socially engaged to help with overall health. My sporting life in masters swimming, veteran cycling and running and triathlon clubs over the years has taught me how much fun, fitness and friendship comes from the interactions in these clubs. What’s interesting is that this research is suggesting that those that stay socially engaged not only have a better quality of life but are more likely to live longer too.

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Health risk factors and the risk of death

The Introductionheart-angiogram

At the tender age of 55 years, I am increasingly starting to see more chronic disease and people dying – both at my parents generation and my own. How much of this is related to lifestyle I often ask myself. Physical inactivity, diets low in fruit and vegetables, smoking, and alcohol consumption (all modifiable risk factors) have been shown to be related to higher risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer and increased death rates. This recently published study examined the individual and combined influence of these risk factors on total and cause-specific death rates. The more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of dying early!

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