THURSDAY, May 2, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- You can reduce your risk of potentially deadly blood clots by following seven simple lifestyle steps, a new study suggests.
The study included more than 30,000 people, aged 45 and older, who were followed for nearly five years. The participants' heart health was rated based on how closely they followed the American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7 measures, which are: being physically active, avoiding smoking, eating a healthy diet, watching your weight, and controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The participants' heart health was classified as inadequate, average or optimum, and the researchers compared the incidence of blood clots in the three groups.
Compared to people with inadequate heart health, those with optimum heart health had a 44 percent lower risk of blood clots and those with average heart health had a 38 percent lower risk, according to an American Heart Association news release.
The researchers also found that maintaining ideal levels of physical activity and body-mass index -- a measure of body fat based on height and weight -- were the two most important factors in lowering the risk of blood clots.
The study was presented Wednesday at an American Heart Association meeting in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Every five minutes, someone in the United States dies of a blood clot in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism), according to the American Heart Association.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about deep vein thrombosis.