Mohibullah Khan, Syed Zia ul Islam, Farhana Iqbal


Despite zenith in the field of scientific knowledge, any pin pointed factor behind the phenomenon of longevity and life expectancy has not yet been known. There are so many contributors that work together in affecting the span of life expectancy. Review of the literature reveals that participation in physical activities and exercises, use of proper diet, healthy lifestyle behaviour, avoidance of smoking and obesity are vital and they all have crucial role in determining the length of the life span.  This paper is aimed at to review the existing body of literature in perspectives of the factors contributing or otherwise with reference to the longevity and life expectancy. The factors examined in this paper include exercise & physical activity, diet and smoking. In view of the existing literature it has become evident that life expectancy is something that can be extended to a desirable limit provided consolidated efforts are put forth with reference to health care and healthy life style behaviour.  


Life Expectancy, Exercise, Diet, Obesity, Smoking

Full Text:



Abdus, S. & Rangazas, P. (2011). Adult nutrition and growth. Rev Econ Dynamo. 14, 636-49.

Ahmed, R.H, et al., (2013). “Low-Risk Lifestyle, Coronary Calcium, Cardiovascular Events, and Mortality: Results From MESA,” American Journal of Epidemiology.

American Cancer Society (2016) Cancer Facts & Figures 2016, documents/ document/acspc-047079.pdf.

Banegas, J.R., Lopez-Garcia, E. & Gutierrez-Fisac J.L. (2003). A simple estimate of mortality attributable to excess weight in the European Union. Eur J Clin Nutr. 57, 201–8.

Bath, PA., Morgan, K, (1998). Customary physical activity and physical health outcomes in later life. Age Ageing; 27(3), 29–34.

Breuckmann, F., Mohlenkamp, S. &, Nassenstein, K. (2009). Myocardial late gadolinium enhancement: prevalence, pattern, and prognostic relevance in marathon runners. Radiology, 251, 50–57.

Byberg, L., H.Melhus, H. & R. Gedeborg, R. (2009). Total mortality after changes in leisure time physical activity in 50 year old men: 35 Year follow-up of population based cohort. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43(7), 482,

Candore, G., Balistreri, C.R., Listi, F., Grimaldi, M.P., Vasto, S., Colonna-Romano, G., Franceschi, C., Lio, D., Caselli, G. & Caruso, C. (2006). Immunogenetics, gender, and longevity. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci, 1089, 516–537.

Casper, RC. (1995). Nutrition and its Relationship to Aging. Exp Gerontol, 30, 299-314.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Retrieved from

Cornoni-Huntley, JC., Harris, TB. & Everett, DF. (1991). An overview of body weight of older persons, including the impact on mortality. J Clin Epidemiol, 44, 743-53.

D. E. R. Warburton, S. Charlesworth, A. Ivey, L. Nettlefold, & Bredin, S. S. D. (2010). A systematic review of the evidence for Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 7, 39.

Department of Health and Children (2005), Obesity: The Policy Challenges. The Report of the National Taskforce on Obesity. Dublin: The Stationery Office.

Dupre, M.E., Liu, G., Gu, D. (2008). Predictors of longevity: Evidence from the oldest old in China. Am. J. Public Health, 98, 1203–1208.

Egger, G., Swinburn, B. (1997). "An 'ecological' approach to the obesity pandemic, BMJ, 315(7106), 477-80.

Flegal, KM., Graubard, BI., Williamson, DF. & Gail, MH. (2005). Excess deaths associated with underweight, overweight, and obesity. JAMA, 93(15), 1861-1867

Flegal, KM., Kit, BK., Orpana, H., Graubard , BI. (2013). Association of all-cause mortality with overweight and obesity using standard Body Mass Index categories: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA , 309(1), :71-82.

Fraser, G. E. & Shavlik, D. J. (2001). Ten years of life is it a matter of choice?” Archives of Internal Medicine, 161(13), 1645–1652.

Gremeaux, V., Gayda, M., Lepers, R. Sosner, P. Juneau, M. Nigam, A.(2012). Exercise and longevity.". Maturitas, .73 (4), 3127. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2012.09. 012.

HHS, (2014) The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General.

Huijbregts, PP., Feskens, EJ., Räsänen, L., (1997). Quality of dietary pattern and 20-year mortality in elderly men in Finland, Italy and the Netherlands. BMJ, 315, 13–17.

Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). (2001) Adding Life to Years and Years to Life: Life and Health Expectancy in Ontario. Toronto, ON. Accessed.

Jankovic, N., Geelen, A., Streppel, M.T., de Groot, L.C., Orfanos, P., van den Hooven, E.H., Pikhart, H., Boffetta, P., Trichopoulou, A., Bobak, M., (2014). Adherence to a healthy diet according to the world health organization guidelines and all-cause mortality in elderly adults from Europe and the United States. Am. J. Epidemiol, 180, 978–988.

Jonker, J. T., De Laet, C., Franco, O. H., Peeters, A., Mackenbach, J. & Nusselder, W. J. , (2006). Physical activity and life expectancy with and without diabetes: life table analysis of the Framingham Heart Study, Diabetes Care, 29(1), 38–43.

Jha P. (2012). Avoidable deaths from smoking: a global perspective. Public Health Reviews, 33, 569-600.

Jha, P. (2013)., et al., “21st-Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 368,4.

Khaw, KT., Wareham, N. & Bingham, S. (2008). Combined impact of health behaviors and mortality in men and women: the EPIC-Norfolk prospective population study. PLoS Med , 5(2).

Kalben, Blatt, B. (2002). Why Men Die Younger: Causes of Mortality Differences by Sex. Society of Actuaries".

Kelly, C., Pashayan, N. &, Munisamy, S., (2009). Mortality attributable to excess adiposity in England and Wales in 2003 and 2015. Population Health Metr.7, :11.

Kylasov, A. &, Gavrov, S. (2011). Diversity of sport: non-destructive evaluation. Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, 2, 462–491.

Lee, IM., & Skerrett, PJ. (2001). Physical activity and all-cause mortality: What is the dose– response relation? Med Sci Sports Exerc, 33, S459-71.

Levine, M.E., Suarez, J.A., Brandhorst, S.; Balasubramanian, P., Cheng, C.W., Madia, F., Fontana, L., Mirisola, M.G., Guevara-Aguirre, J. & Wan, J.;(2014). Low protein intake is associated with a major reduction in IGF-1, cancer, and overall mortality in the 65 and younger but not older population. Cell Metab. 2014, 19, 407–417.

Lin, R.T., Chen, Y.M., Chien, L.C. & Chan, C.C. (2012), Political and social determinants of life expectancy in less developed countries: A longitudinal study. BMC Public Health, 12, 85.

Mamun, AA., Peeters, A., Barendregt, J., Willekens, F., Nusselder, W. & Bonneux, L. (2004). Smoking decreases the duration of life lived with and without cardiovascular disease: a life course analysis of the Framingham Heart Study. Eur Heart J 25, 409–415.

McGinnis, JM. &, Foege, WH. (1993). Actual causes of death in the United States. JAMA, 270, :2207-2212.

Menotti, A., Lanti, M., Maiani, G. and& Kromhout, D. (2006). Determinants of longevity and all-cause mortality among middle-aged men. Role of 48 personal characteristics in a 40-year follow-up of Italian Rural Areas in the Seven Countries Study. Aging, 18(5), 394–406.

Moore S.C., et al. (2012). Leisure Time Physical Activity of Moderate to Vigorous Intensity and Mortality: A Large Pooled Cohort Analysis. PLoS Medicine. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001335.

Nilsson, L.M., Winkvist, A., Eliasson, M., Jansson, J.H., Hallmans, G. Johansson, I., Lindahl, B., Lenner, P. & Van Guelpen, B. (2012). Low-carbohydrate, high-protein score and mortality in a Northern Swedish population-based cohort. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr., 66, 694–700.

Noto, H., Goto, A., Tsujimoto, T. &; Noda, M. (2013). Low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause mortality: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. PLoS ONE, 8, e55030.

Oeppen, J. & Vaupel, JW. (2002). Demography. Broken limits to life expectancy. Science, 296,1029–1031.

O’Keefe, JH., Vogel, R., Lavie, CJ. &, Cordain, L. (2011). Exercise like a hunter-gatherer: a prescription for organic physical fitness. Prog Cardiovasc Dis 53,: 471–79.

Olshanski, S.J., Carnes, B.A. & Cassel, C. (1990). In search of Methuselah: estimating the upper limits to human longevity. Science, 250, 634-640

Osler, M. & Schroll, M. (1997). Diet and mortality in a cohort of elderly people in a North European community. Int J Epidemiol, 26, 155–159.

Ozasa, K., Katanoda, K. &, Tamakoshi, A. (2008)., Sato H, Tajima K, Suzuki T, et al. Reduced life expectancy due to smoking in large-scale cohort studies in Japan. J Epidemiol, 18,:111-8.

Paffenbarger, RS. Jr, Hyde RT. &, Wing, AL., (1986). Physical activity, all-cause mortality, and longevity of college alumni. N Engl JMed 1986, 314,: 605-13.

Paffenbarger, RS Jr., Hyde, RT. &, Wing, AL., (1993). The association of changes in physical-activity level and other lifestyle characteristics with mortality among men. N Engl J Med ,328, 538^5.

Peeters, A., Barendregt, J.J., Willekens, F., Mackenbach, J.P., Al Mamun, A. and Bonneux, L. (2003), Obesity in adulthood and its consequences for life expectancy: a life-table analysis, Annals of Internal Medicine, 138(1), 4-32.

Pekkanen, J., Marti, B. & Nissinen, A. (1987). Reduction of premature mortality by high physical activity: a 20-year follow-up of middle-aged Finnish men. Lancet , 1,1473-7.

Perls, T. & Terry, D. (2003). Understanding the determinants of exceptional longevity. Annals of Internal Medicine, 139(2), 445–449.

Rogers, RG. &, Wofford, S. (1989). Life expectancy in less developed countries: socioeconomic development or public health? J Biosoc Sci 1989;, 21, 245-52.

Samitz, G., M. Egger, M. & and M. Zwahlen, M. (2001). Domains of physical activity and all-cause mortality: systematic review and doseresponse meta-analysis of cohort studies. International Journal of Epidemiology, 40(5), 1382–1400.

Santrock, J. (2007). Life Expectancy,. A Topical Approach to: Life-Span Development (pp. 128-132). New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Surgeon General of the United States.(2006) "The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General" (PDF). Retrieved on 2012-07-24.

Thun, M.J., Day-Lally, CA. & Calle, E.E. (1995). Excess mortality among cigarette smokers: changes in a 20-year interval. Am J Public Health, 85, 1223-1230.

Tsukamoto, H. & Sano, F. (1990). Body weight and longevity: Insurance experience in Japan. Diabetes Research of Clinical Practice, 10, S119-S125.

United States, (2010). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2013: 62(08);155 [accessed 2015 Aug 17].

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2012) Health, United States, 2011: With Special Feature on Socioeconomic Status and Health. Hyattsville, MD:, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (2014), The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General, [accessed 2015 Aug 17].

W. J.Nusselder, W. J., C. W. N. Looman, C. W. N., Franco, O.H., A. Peeters, A., A. S. Slingerland, A. S. & and J. P. Mackenbach, J. P. (2008), The relation between non-occupational physical activity and years lived with and without disability, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 62(9), 823–828.

W. J. Nusselder, W. J., Franco, O. H., A. Peeters, A. & J. P. MacKenbach, J. P. (2009). Living healthier for longer: comparative effects of three heart-healthy behaviors on life expectancy with and without cardiovascular disease, BMC Public Health, 9, 487.

Wang, X., Ouyang, Y., Liu, J.,; Zhu, M.,; Zhao, G.,; Bao, W.,; Hu, F.B. (2014). Fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: Systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMJ, 349, g4490.

Warburton, C. W., Nicol, & Bredin, S. S. D. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence, CMAJ, 174(6), 801–809.

Wen, CP., Wai, JP., Tsai, MK. & et al (2011). Minimum amount of physical activity for reduced mortality and extended life expectancy: a prospective cohort study. Lancet, 378, 1244–1253.

World Health Organization. (1998). Obesity – Preventing and Managing the Global Epidemic. Report of a WHO Consultation on Obesity, Geneva: WHO.

World Health Organization. (2004). The world health report 2004 - changing history. Retrieved from

WHO (2010) Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health. Retrieved 2016, from World Health Organization website

World Health Organization. (2016). Monitoring health for the SDGs Annex B: tables of health statistics by country. Retrieved from World Health Organization


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2520-7814