X

Top 10 nonmedical factors that can lead to your death

These 5 Things Are Almost as Deadly as Smoking

Heart disease and cancer are the top causes of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Sometimes you can live a healthy lifestyle and still die from one of these.

And sometimes it’s your lifestyle that contributes to your death.

» Aging in Atlanta: A series dedicated to serving the 55+ community in the metro Atlanta area

An international group of behavioral and social scientists have identified many nonbiological predictors of mortality.

Their study was conducted to try to determine why Americans’ life spans were not increasing at the same rate as comparable countries.

"Back in 1980, life expectancy at birth in the U.S. was similar to that of comparable countries. However, since then, the U.S. has gained just 4.9 years of life expectancy, while comparable countries have gained 7.8 years on average," according to Health System Tracker.

An American’s life expectancy at birth is 78.6 years, but the average of comparable countries is 82.3 years.

» Study finds vitamin K might help you live longer

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used nationally representative data from 13,611 adults in the U.S. Health and Retirement Study. The test subjects were 52–104 years old, with an average age of 69.3. Scientists collected data from 1992 to 2008 and analyzed them in relation to deaths that occurred between 2008 and 2014.

“It’s more than just a one-time snapshot in people’s lives, where something might be missed because it did not occur,” said Eli Puterman of the University of British Columbia. “Our approach provides a look at potential long-term impacts through a lifespan lens.”

» Study: To live a long life, you should embrace getting older

Here are the top 10 nonmedical reasons for Americans’ death, according to the study:

  1. Smoking (currently)
  2. History of divorce
  3. History of alcohol misuse
  4. Recent financial difficulties
  5. History of unemployment
  6. Smoking (previously)
  7. Lower life satisfaction
  8. Never having been married
  9. History of using food stamps
  10. Negative affectivity (a variety of negative emotions, including anger, contempt, disgust, guilt, fear and nervousness)