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Diseases and conditions

Diseases & Conditions, Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment options

What to know about prevention

Everyday choices greatly affect life expectancy and good health. Here's what you can do.

Opportunities for prevention

  • Up to half of early deaths (before age 80) in the U.S. are preventable
  • Lifestyle changes in adulthood involving diet, activity, weight management, smoking and alcohol can increase life expectancy by more than a decade
  • Injury is the main threat to survival through middle age

Diet & activity

  • Poor diet and lack of exercise cause about 18% of preventable early deaths
  • US dietary guidelines recommend nutrient-dense foods in appropriate amounts; in addition, ultra-processed foods have increasingly been linked to health risks
  • US activity guidelines for adults recommend 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week, but research suggests there are added health benefits from activity beyond these guidelines


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