High score? It could be game over

Doctors in Australia have developed a new lifestyle risk score that can be used to predict risk of mortality.

The score is based on six health behaviours – smoking, alcohol use, diet, physical inactivity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep.

Combinations involving physical inactivity, prolonged sitting, and/or long sleep duration and combinations involving smoking and high alcohol use were among the most strongly associated with all-cause mortality.

The researchers from the University of Sydney used mortality registration data from a six-year follow-up period for 231,048 Australians aged 45 years or older who had completed a lifestyle questionnaire at baseline.

The researchers estimated that the population attributable risk was 31.3%, suggesting that a third of the person-years lost due to death could have been avoided if all the study participants had a risk score of zero.

The paper was published in PLOS Medicine.

Bill Condie

Bill Condie

Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.

Read science facts, not fiction...

There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.