More than half the years of healthy life lost are as a result of behavioural or lifestyle factors, such as smoking, poor diet or lack of exercise. This is before we factor in social relationships and frame of mind – having someone to talk to and a positive outlook on life have been found to have major impacts on longevity, with an effect comparable to not smoking.
The Darzi review estimated that less than 0.5 per cent of medical research spending was directed at behavioural factors – and the majority of even this tiny portion is actually spent on medical compliance (why people don’t finish taking their medication or complete courses of treatment). Is there an argument for more behavioural based research to improve health outcomes?
Read the rest of this blog post by BIT Director, Dr David Halpern, on the King’s Fund blog.