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New Year’s Resolutions & Cancer Risk

If your New Year’s resolutions involve any kind of healthy lifestyle adjustments, you may find that the benefits are more long-term than more energy or a slimmer waistline. According to a new study performed by researchers at Cardiff University, taking on healthy changes (and sticking to them) can lower your risk of developing cancer in the future.

The researchers looked at preliminary data on more than 343,000 adults between the ages of 40 and 69 years. The data was obtained from the United Kingdom’s Biobank, which is a research services that collects and monitors health data from its participants. Of those 343,000 adults, about 14,000 were diagnosed with cancer in a five-year follow-up of data.

Adults who followed five main healthy behaviors (often chosen as New Year’s resolutions) were evaluated. These healthy behaviors were:

  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI)
  • Avoiding smoking cigarettes
  • Eating healthier
  • Exercising regularly

Those who incorporated all five of these behaviors had a third less of a risk when compared to participants who only adopted one of the behaviors—or none at all. The authors of the study hope that this will encourage patients to keep up the sometimes-difficult work of maintaining a healthy lifestyle change, by reminding them that healthy changes have long-term effects that can lengthen life spans.

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