It is evident that lifestyle changes are associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases. However, the exact associations between a healthy lifestyle and the risk of developing chronic illnesses are not well documented. This study aims to evaluate the relationship between a healthy lifestyle and the number of disease-free life years.

This prospective cohort study comprised data from 12 European studies, including a total of 116,043 people without any major noncommunicable disease at baseline. The researchers analyzed the following baseline lifestyle factors: smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI). The primary outcome of the study was the number of years lived without chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular events, type-2 diabetes, asthma, cancer, and respiratory disorders.

Of 116,043 participants, 17,383 developed at least 1 chronic disease. The findings suggested a linear association between a healthy lifestyle and the number of disease-free life years. When compared with the worst lifestyle score, the best lifestyle score was associated with 9.65 additional disease-free years. In addition, a BMI score of less than 25, and two of the following factors: never smoking, physical activity, and moderate alcohol consumption offered maximum benefits.

The research concluded that a healthy lifestyle was significantly associated with more chronic disease-free life years.