Life expectancy graphs provide a lot of reason for optimism in 2020, especially if you track it when the records started. The sharp increase in global life expectancy in recent decades shows a particularly pleasant picture. The upward trend can, in part, be attributed to pioneering research in the field of science and medicine, which continues to add more weight to universally accepted truths, such as the importance of eating a healthy and balanced diet to avoid the risk of developing life. threatening complications.
Another truism that has been supported by rigorous research is that going on vacation is good for your health.
According to a 40-year-old study published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, holidays can extend their life span.
To support this hypothesis, the researchers analyzed data from 1,222 middle-aged male executives, born in 1919 to 1934 and recruited for the Helsinki Businessmen Study in 1974 and 1975.
Participants had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease (smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, glucose intolerance, being overweight).
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Control group men received regular health care and were not seen by the investigators. As previously reported, the risk of cardiovascular disease was reduced by 46% in the intervention group compared to the control group at the end of the study. However, at 15 years of follow-up in 1989, there were more deaths in the intervention group than in the control group. The surprising discovery led the researchers to make some deeper digs, which revealed that shorter vacations were associated with excess deaths in the intervention group.
In the intervention group, men who took three weeks or less of annual vacation had a 37% greater chance of dying in 1974 to 2004 than those who took more than three weeks.
Considering the findings, Professor Timo Strandberg, from the University of Helsinki, Finland, said: "The damage caused by the intensive lifestyle regime was concentrated in a subset of men on shorter annual leave.
"In our study, men with shorter vacations worked more and slept less than those who took longer vacations."
He continued: “This stressful lifestyle may have negated any benefit from the intervention. We think that the intervention itself may also have had an adverse psychological effect on these men, adding stress to their lives ".
Professor Strandberg concluded: "Our results do not indicate that health education is harmful. They suggest that stress reduction is an essential part of programs aimed at reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
"Lifestyle advice should be wisely combined with modern drug treatment to prevent cardiovascular events in high-risk individuals."
How can stress cause cardiovascular complications?
According to the American Heart Association, stress can affect behaviors and factors that increase heart disease risk, how high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, smoking, physical inactivity and overeating.
"Some people may choose to drink too much alcohol or smoke cigarettes to" manage "chronic stress, however, these habits can increase blood pressure and damage artery walls," he adds.