A Healthy Lifestyle When Younger Helps Reduce Heart Disease Risk Later

According to a study, sticking to a healthy lifestyle in young adulthood in to the 40s is clearly linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in middle age.[1] The research revealed that even individuals having a family history of heart conditions could have a low cardiovascular disease risk profile should they stick to a healthy lifestyle in their younger years, supporting the idea that lifestyle could play a more important part than genetics.

Most individuals who stuck to 5 healthy lifestyle factors since young adulthood, which included a healthy diet, a lean body mass index, not smoking, no alcohol consumption, and regular exercise, could stay in this low risk classification in middle age.

During the 1st year of the research, when the individuals’ average age was 24, almost 44% had a low cardiovascular disease risk profile. 20 years later, on the whole, only 24.5% achieved a low cardiovascular disease risk profile.

60% of individuals who stuck to all 5 healthy lifestyle factors got to middle age having a low cardiovascular risk profile, in comparison to less than 5% who implemented none of the healthy lifestyle factors.

Data collected during twenty years from another study was used. It started in ’85 and ’86  and involved thousands of 18 – 30 year olds and has since then observed the same group of individuals.

For this research, the scientists analyzed data like cholesterol, blood pressure, BMI, blood sugar, diet and exercise, alcohol intake, and tobacco use from more than 3,000 of the individuals to determine healthy lifestyle factors and a low cardiovascular disease risk profile.

Heart Disease Risk Factors and Prevention Infographic

Image Source – pennmedicine

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