The conversations of life

Doctor or nurse in the family? You’re more likely to live past 80


People with access to informal health expertise are 10 per cent more likely to live beyond the aged of 80, according to a new study.

They’re also significantly less likely to have chronic lifestyle-related conditions such as heart attacks or diabetes.

According to the findings, the closer you are to your family medical source (geographically or genetically) the bigger the health benefits are – and researchers say this is due to the provision of very simple medical advice.

Doctors and nurses can act like ‘personal health coaches’ for their families and friends, reinforcing practices like monitoring basic medications, encouraging vaccinations and advising against health risks.

So, the health benefits make sense to us – of course, it’s not a quick-fix for more serious health concerns (always consult your GP) and no excuse for those without a medico in the family to not seek advice from their doctor.

But if the kids or grand kids are struggling to decide what to study at uni, it could be worth pointing them towards healthcare degrees – family with benefits?

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