Survival factors

The factors in behaviour that can influence survival after quitting smoking have been
studied. Strong relationships has the strongest effect in improving survival. Having strong social relationships seems to have an effect on survival comparable to that of quitting smoking and larger than con¬trolling traditional risk factors, such as obes¬ity or hypertension. A meta-analysis of social relationships and mortality looked at 308849 participants aged 63.9, on average, at baseline; 29% died during the follow-up of 7.5 years.
Overall, strong social relationships improved the odds of survival by 5 %. Similar results were found for two aspects of relationships, defined by the researchers as structural (integration in social networks) and func¬tional (received or perceived social support), although the link with integration was some¬what stronger.
Reported in BMJ 14August 2010 vol 341 p 325

Martin Eastwood
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