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Four Factors that Affect Life Expectancy April 13, 2023

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Most people would agree that they would like to live a long, fulfilling life. Staying healthy, of course, plays an important role in that quest. The question is whether or not we are willing to make the choices, put in the effort, and make the sacrifices necessary to achieve that goal.

If you want to increase life expectancy, here are four factors that deserve your attention.


If you smoke, you may already be saying to yourself, “Yeah, yeah, I know, I know.” The fact is, if you want to increase your life expectancy, you must give up tobacco use. Over 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by tobacco use and smoking is still a major cause of cancer.

If someone offered you a beverage, explaining that it contained over 7,000 chemicals, more than 70 of which can cause cancer, it’s not like you would take a drink, let alone 10 or 20 such beverages per day. Yet, that is the chemical makeup of cigarettes. In spite of all the warnings, knowledge, and scientific studies, over 22 percent of the world’s population still smokes. 

Body Mass Index

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight divided by the square of their height.

Basically, there is a guideline for determining a healthy weight for your height. In essence, it helps determine body fat. While a person’s BMI doesn’t necessarily determine health, a high BMI can indicate problems ahead. For adults, a BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight. A BMI that ranges from 18.5 to 24.9 is considered to be in the healthy range. You are considered overweight with a BIMI that ranges from 25 to 29.9, and you are considered obese if your Body Mass Index is 30 or above.

If you want to make an effort to improve life expectancy, improve your BMI.

Total Cholesterol Value

Another indicator of life expectancy is your cholesterol level. Cholesterol is an organic molecule called a lipid. It is a yellowish, waxy-type substance that is made in the liver and found in the blood and body cells. Cholesterol is critical in building cell walls, hormones, and bile, but when too many fatty items are consumed, it can lead to obesity and clogged veins and arteries.

It is a great example of “all things in moderation.” Cholesterol is needed, but in excess, it will lead to health issues, including heart disease. A cholesterol level of less than 299 mg/dl is in the healthy/normal range. A level in the 200 to 239 range is considered borderline high. And a mg/dl level of 240 or higher is high.

Systolic Blood Pressure

There is both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, with systolic blood pressure generally considered to be the better indicator of poor health at elevated levels. Simply put, it is like air pressure in your car tires. Blood pressure measures the pressure of your blood as it is pumped through your veins. Too much or too little blood pressure can be problematic. A healthy blood pressure is considered to be 120/80mmHg. That healthy range varies slightly by age. Causes of high blood pressure include lack of exercise, illnesses like diabetes, obesity, stress, and more. Maintaining a safe blood pressure level is possible through diet and exercise.

While these areas of our health are significant, they are not unmanageable. The payoff is improved life expectancy.

While we can help extend our life expectancy, our mortality is unquestioned. If you have been considering preplanning for the inevitable, our caring team at Fares J. Funeral Homes and Crematorium can help. We can even meet at your home if you prefer. We’ve been serving families in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for over 125 years. It would be our honor to serve you.

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