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.

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