Healthy Living Adds 14 Years to Your Life
Keeping cardiovascular disease risk
factors low may lead to healthier life (Source:
you have optimal heart health in middle age, you may live up to 14 years longer,
free of cardiovascular disease, than your peers who have two or more
cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, according to a new Northwestern
The study was published Nov. 5 in
the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
"We found that many people develop cardiovascular
disease as they live into old age, but those with optimal risk factor levels
live disease-free longer," said John T. Wilkins, M.D., first author of the
"We need to do everything we can to maintain
optimal risk factors so that we reduce the chances of developing cardiovascular
disease and increase the chances that we'll live longer and healthier."
Wilkins is an assistant professor in medicine,
cardiology and preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of
Medicine and a cardiologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
For the study, researchers pulled data from five
different cohorts included in the Cardiovascular Lifetime Risk Pooling Project
and looked at the participants' risk of all forms of fatal and nonfatal
cardiovascular disease from ages 45, 55 and 65 through 95 years of age.
All participants were free of CVD at entry into
the study and data on the following risk factors was collected: blood pressure,
total cholesterol, diabetes and smoking status. The primary outcome measure for
the study was any CVD event (including fatal and nonfatal coronary heart
disease, all forms of stroke, congestive heart failure, and other CVD deaths).
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