Meeting heart-health guidelines dramatically reduces risk of early death

HealthDay reports, “People who follow seven recommended cardiovascular health behaviors are much less likely to die than those who follow few or none of the behaviors, according to a study that included nearly 45,000 US adults.”

But, the investigators “also found that few adults follow every cardiovascular health behavior recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA), which include: not smoking; eating a healthy diet; having normal cholesterol, blood glucose and total cholesterol levels; being physically active and having normal blood pressure.”

MedPage Today reports, “Meeting all seven criteria could have prevented 59% of all deaths, 64% of those from cardiovascular disease, and 63% of those from ischemic heart disease over a roughly 20-year period,” the researchers found.

The study, online in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that “no more than 2% of US adults achieved all seven goals from 1988 to 2010.”

WebMD reports, “Not surprisingly, the results showed that the more heart-healthy goals people met, the lower their risk of heart disease and death. Meeting a higher number of the heart health targets was also associated with a lower risk of cancer.”

The investigators “found that younger people, women, whites, and people with higher education levels tended to meet more of the heart-healthy goals.”

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