By June Fletcher
The Centers for Disease Control looked at health and mortality statistics of nearly 17,000 adults who were recruited into a study between 1988 and 1994, and followed until 2006.
Their conclusions: Those who followed all four healthy practices were 63% less likely to die early compared to those who did none of these things. Not smoking lowered the risk the most.
Of those in the study, 47.5% had never smoked, 51% drank moderately (defined as no more than two drinks a day for men and one for women), 39.3% had a healthy, balanced diet and 40.2% were physically active.
Although men and women lived low-risk lifestyles in about equal percentages, ethnically, there was a significant difference. Mexican-Americans reported more healthy behaviors than blacks or whites.
Two separate, earlier CDC studies showed that Hispanics also have a lower death rate from cancer than either blacks or whites, and are less likely to suffer from hypertension.