Health Tip – Jan. 9 – What Protects Women Against Age-related Disability?

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Dee Dee - Health Tip

Dee Dee – Health Tip

What does protect women against age-related disability? The answer is healthy habits – including not smoking and getting regular exercise, according to British researchers. Those two factors, plus not drinking too much alcohol could help eliminate up to 17 percent of the heart disease, arthritis and walking problems seen in women in their 60s and 70s.

Investigators from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine asked more than 2,500 women participating in the British Women’s Heart and Health Study to fill out questionnaires on their smoking, exercise, alcohol consumption and eating habits. Seven years later those women reported whether or not they had developed any disabling health problems.

Results showed that women who did not exercise were about twice as likely to develop arthritis compared to women who did exercise; the inactive women were also twice as likely to have problems walking and were more likely to develop heart disease. Those who smoked or had a history of smoking developed heart disease at more than twice the rate of the women who never smoked.

The researchers reported that lack of exercise alone was deemed responsible for nine percent of the risk for walking problems, five percent of heart disease risk and four percent of arthritis risk.

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