NEW FEARS! PAULA DEEN could have just three years to live, says a human behavior expert!

 At 5-foot-5 and 160 pounds, the butter-cra­zy celebrity chef – who recently announced she suffers from type 2 diabetes – could drop dead at the age of 68, the expert says.

The trau­mas of Paula ’s past , c o m ­b i n e d w i t h her di­abetes, high-stress lifestyle, decades-long smoking habit and family health history all contribute to shortening her life expec­tancy, according to top medical and behavioral specialists.

“I added up the stressors in her life, and unless she adds more balance to it, Paula may only live to age 68,” Patrick Wanis, Ph.D., a human behavior expert from Los Angeles, Calif., told The ENQUIRER.

The frightening scenario is the result of Dr. Wanis’ “Life and Death Calculator,” a lon­gevity guide that determines a person’s estimated life ex­pectancy by evaluating five principal body indicators.

“These are emotional, mental, physical, nutritional and spir­itual stressors that can define how well we age,” explained Dr. Wanis.

While the average life span for American women is 80 years, the stressors in 65-year-old Paula’s life will subtract 12 years from her expected life span, he said.

The main stressor is her dia­betes, which was diagnosed in 2008, the experts say.

“Diabetes can be deadly because it increases the risk of heart disease, kidney failure and stroke,” Dr. Daniel Lorber, a leading endocrinolo­gist from Flushing, N.Y., told The ENQUIRER.

Another stressor for Paula – who parlayed her flair for rich Southern cuisine into a multimillion-dollar business empire – is her cigarette habit. She started smoking at the age of 15, and in 2009 she admitted: “It’s the hardest thing to give up in the whole entire world and I confess I have not beat it yet.”

Other stressors for the popular Food Network chef are her family’s health history and the emotional roll­er coaster she’s ridden over the years, experts say. Her father died in 1966 at age 40 after undergoing a heart valve replacement and her mother died of bone cancer four years later at age 44.

Meantime, she wed her high school sweetheart Jimmy Deen when she was 18, but the marriage disinte­grated after 27 years due to his heavy drinking. Paula has said that losing her parents, along with her divorce, led to depression, panic attacks and finally acute agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder character­ized by a fear of public places.

She has also pushed her luck by working too hard. Paula admits that she turned into a workaholic after launching her catering business, The Bag Lady, out of her Savannah, Ga., home in 1989 when she was 42.

“I worked like a dog,” she once re­called. “I worked 16 and 20 hours every day for quite a few years without even a break.”

All that stress takes a heavy toll, says another expert.

“Stress works like acid on the body,” explained Dr. Robert Goldman, co-founder of the Chicago-based American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. “It makes the body release destructive hor­mones that corrode the cells. Stress can raise blood pressure, create heart dis­ease and ruin your nervous system.”

Top weight-loss physician Dr. Aaron Tabor agreed, adding: “Stress alone can speed up the aging process by as much as 10 years.”

Paula no doubt has even more stress in her life after revealing she’s a spokeswoman for a dia­betes drug. Outraged fans and colleagues have blasted her know­ingly advocating her fat-filled, gut-busting cuisine despite the health hazards her recipes contrib­ute to the disease.

Despite so many strikes against her, Paula – who has a loving marriage to second husband, retired tugboat cap­tain Michael Groover – can still turn her health around, noted Dr. Wanis.

“Paula’s numbers can be reversed by adopting a healthy lifestyle that will help her lose weight and keep her dia­betes in check,” he said.