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Whether a healthy lifestyle helps achieve gains in life expectancy (LE) free of major non-communicable diseases and its share of total LE in Chinese adults remains unknown. We considered five low-risk lifestyle factors: never smoking or quitting for reasons other than illness, no excessive alcohol use, being physically active, healthy eating habits and healthy body fat levels. Here we show that after a median follow-up of 11.1 years for 451,233 Chinese adults, the LE free of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases (95% confidence interval) at age 40 years for individuals with all five low-risk factors was on average 6.3 (5.1-7.5) years (men) and 4.2 (3.6-5.4) years (women) longer than those with 0-1 low-risk factors. Correspondingly, the proportion of disease-free LE to total LE increased from 73.1% to 76.3% for men and from 67.6% to 68.4% for women. Our findings suggest that promoting healthy lifestyles could be associated with gains in disease-free LE in the Chinese population.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Hum Behav

Publication Date