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Healthy Lifestyle Shown to Greatly Reduce Heart Risks

Following six healthy habits decreases incident hypertension in women, heart failure in men

TUESDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- A healthy lifestyle is associated with a significantly reduced risk of hypertension in younger women and of heart failure in older men, according to two studies in the July 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In one study, John P. Forman, M.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, analyzed data on 83,882 women ages 27 to 44 who did not have hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or cancer at baseline. After a 14-year follow-up, they found that the risk of hypertension was significantly lower among women who followed any or all of six modifiable lifestyle and dietary factors. If all women had all six low-risk factors, the researchers calculated that 78 percent of new-onset hypertension could be prevented or at least delayed.

In a second study, Luc Djousse, M.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data on 20,900 men (mean age, 53.6 years) who were apparently healthy at baseline. After a mean follow-up of 22.4 years, they found that the risk of heart failure was significantly lower among men who followed four or more of six desirable lifestyle factors than among those who followed none of the factors (10.1 versus 21.2 percent).

"The studies by Forman et al and Djousse et al underscore that healthy lifestyle will help prevent cardiovascular disease and greatly enhance health, which is a compelling reminder that health is the shared responsibility of individuals and communities," states the author of an accompanying editorial.

Abstract - Forman
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Abstract - Djousse
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