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Healthy living habits may add 14 years to life

Category: General Wellness

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that included data from the Cardiovascular Lifetime Risk Pooling Project found that people who have a healthy heart in middle age may have a life expectancy that's 14 years greater than people who have at least two risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

"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 research author John T. Wilkins, M.D. "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."

The study analyzed the risk of developing all forms of cardiovascular disease in people who were older than 45, and it looked at risk factors like blood pressure, diabetes and total cholesterol, which can be measured with cholesterol testing, in each of the participants.

Other results of the study showed that middle-aged men had a 60 percent chance of developing cardiovascular disease during their lifetime, while women had a 56 percent chance of developing a heart condition within their lifetime.

Heart disease statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 600,000 people die from heart disease annually, which averages out to nearly 25 percent of all fatalities. While heart disease kills more men and women every year than any other ailment, more men than women died from a cardiovascular disorder in 2009.

The source also reports that while the rate of heart attacks is high - 935,00 Americans have a heart attack every year - more than one-third of them happen as a second time in a patient.

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