Healthy living really does help you live longer; 5 years for women and six for men according to a recent cohort study in the British Medical Journal.
The researchers found that not smoking, good social networks and especially physical activity, make a significant difference to longevity.
These factors also made a difference to patients who were very old (>85) and who had chronic conditions.
Additionally, a further study has shown that if women stop smoking by the age of 30 years their risk of dying of a smoking-related illness is almost the same as a non-smoker.
Source: Rizzuto, D., Orsini, N. Qiu, C. Wang, H-X., & Fratiglioni, L. (2012) Lifestyle, Social Factors, and Survival after Age 75: Population Based Study. BMJ 2012;345:e5568.