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Optimize Heart Health to Live Longer

Many people develop various types of chronic diseases as they grow older, and among them cardiovascular disease is a common cause for premature death. A new Northwestern Medicine study however, shows that people who have optimum cardiovascular health during their middle age are more likely to live longer that people who possess risk factors related to heart health.

The results of the study, which were reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) show that participants who had good cardiac health lived 14 years longer , disease-free, than their peers who had at least two risk factors.

John T. Wilkins, M.D an assistant professor in medicine, cardiology, and preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and his colleagues analyzed data from the Cardiovascular Lifetime Risk Pooling Project which evaluated the participants’ cardiovascular risk at different ages, starting at 45 years and every 10 years thereafter.

The researchers found that although the participants were free of cardiovascular disease at the start of the study, some of them had risk factors that increased the likelihood for disease, including smoking habits, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol levels. In analyzing the occurrence of cardiovascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and heart failure among the participants, they found that the lifetime risks of men and women for developing the disease were associated with the presence of risk factors during their middle age. On the other hand, people who had optimum cardiovascular health in their younger years more likely to live up to 14 years longer than did other individuals with risk factors.


Northwestern University. Healthy living adds fourteen years to your life, study suggests. ScienceDaily.

Posted in: Heart Health, News Briefs

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