The widespread belief that genetics allow some people to live long, healthy lives regardless of their lifestyle is erroneous, said researchers at the University of Gothenburg.
A long-term study that followed a group of men from age 50 and onwards, cataloging their physical state and overall health, found that those who abstained from smoking, drank middling amounts of coffee and did relatively well financially were much more likely than others to live for a long time.
Gothenburg emeritus professor Lars Wilhelmsen said in a statement that the findings illustrate the extreme importance of lifestyle factors to public health and overall life expectancy.
"The study clearly shows that we can influence several of the factors that decide how old we get. This is positive not only for the individual, but also for society as it doesn't entail any major drug costs," he said.
In addition to a longer life expectancy, experts say life insurance quotes could drop as a result of healthy lifestyle factors like plenty of exercise and avoidance of smoking.