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Ottawa Hospital study shows big impact of 'unhealthy behaviours'

A new study suggests that four unhealthy behaviours are responsible for about one out of every three days Ontario residents spend in hospital, costing taxpayers $1.8 billion a year.

They've also found a dose effect -- the more one indulges in any of these four behaviours, .the more time a person will spend in hospital.

The unhealthy behaviours studied are smoking, excess alcohol consumption, poor diet, and physical inactivity.

Researchers at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Toronto's Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, have created an online calculator, allowing people to incorporate these behaviours to figure out their own life expectancy.

Senior author, the Ottawa Hospital's Dr. Doug Manuel, says the purpose of the website is to bring home to individuals how these behaviours affect their lives, not just the health-care system they pay for.

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