Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Are you nuts for nuts?

In this article ("Eat Nuts, Live Longer") by Alexandra Sifferlin, she reports on a study which examined the causes of death of health professionals. One of the interesting aspects of the study revealed a link between nut consumption and longevity. In other words, the more frequently the subjects ate nuts, the less chance that they died in the same time interval as those did not. Even simpler, that means eating nuts = living longer.

What are your chances of living longer?

For that answer, I had to find the original research article - the online version of which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on November 21, 2013 (see "Association of Nut Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality"). Without going into detail, the most cited statistic from that study is the 'hazard ratio'. For this study, this number basically tells us the likelihood of a person who eats nuts dying within the same timeframe as a person who doesn't eat nuts.

However, the article has much more detail than that - it actually computes the hazard ratio in increments - depending on how many times per week subjects said they ate nuts. Now that's graph worthy!

And here it is:

eat nuts live longer
Title font by: Jonathan Harris
Image provided by: Wikipedia Commons

Now that's pretty interesting. In graphical terms, we see that the more you eat nuts, the better chance you have of living longer. Obviously, there are lots of variables at play here, however the researchers went to great lengths to filter those out. And, for those who can't read all of the statistical jargon, this graph provides you with all of the information you need to 'take away' from all that research.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a handful of almonds to munch down...

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