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According to a new study published Sept. 22 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers have been able to identify 5 lifestyle choices could prevent 4 out 5 heart attacks in men! According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States, accounting for 1 out of every 4 male deaths in 2009. Even those who have had no previous signs, symptoms, or family history of heart disease are still at risk; the CDC says that half of the men who die suddenly from coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms.
In order to conduct the study, researchers followed the health and lifestyles of more than 20,700 Swedish men between the ages of 45 to 79 years old over a 12 year time span. After more than a decade of reviewing the medical records, diets, and lifestyles, researchers were able to identify 5 healthy lifestyle choices that were found to significantly reduce the risks of heart attacks in men.
5 Healthy Lifestyle Choices That Significantly Reduce Your Risk of Heart Attacks
-- Living a smoke-free life
-- Being physically active
-- Maintaining a waist circumference of less than 95 centimeters
-- Keeping alcohol consumption to moderate levels
-- Consuming a well-balanced diet
Although those who implemented all 5 healthy lifestyle behaviors were found to have the lowest heart attack risks, researchers also found that those who made even just one healthier behavior change were still able to reduce their risks. Those who practiced all 5 healthy behaviors were found to have an 86% lower risk of having heart attacks. Those who made 2 of the healthy lifestyle choices, (like consuming a well-balanced diet and keeping their alcohol consumption to moderate levels) had a 35% lower risk of heart attack. Those who made only 1 healthy choice (like following a well-balanced diet plan) were still able to reduce their heart attack risks by 20% (in comparison to those who didn’t make any healthy lifestyle choices).
-- Making all 5 healthy lifestyle choices lead to an 86% lower heart attack risk
-- Making 2 healthier lifestyle choices lead to a 35% lower risks of heart attacks
-- Making 1 healthy lifestyle choice reduced the risk of heart attacks by 20%
While it’s not too surprising that the men who lived healthier lifestyles had lower risks for heart diseases, researchers hope that seeing the statistics behind the claims that living a healthier lifestyle reduces the risks for heart disease might help influence more men to make an attempt to implement healthier lifestyle choices. Like Dr. R. Curtis Ellison, who is a professor of medicine and public health at Boston University School of Medicine said, sometimes “people looking for a magic pill or a modern new technology to prevent heart disease need to be reminded how important lifestyle factors are.”