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Healthy diet, strong cognitive testing are predictors of heart disease risk

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Seniors who maintain a healthy diet and perform well on cognitive testing are less likely to become victims of heart disease than their peers who do not, according to a new study.

A research team at the Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia analyzed the diet and cognitive function of 4,879 people over the age of 70 as part of the U.S. Longitudinal Study of Aging. For the purposes of the study, cognitive function was defined as the ability to think, remember, plan and organize information, HealthDay News reports.

After tracking the participants for an average of seven years, the researchers found that the seniors who ate three or more servings of vegetables each day were 30 percent less likely to die from heart disease and 15 percent less likely to die from any other cause than those who consumed less than three vegetable servings.

Furthermore, according to the news source, higher consumption of fruits and vegetables was linked to a decreased occurrence of cognitive impairment, which in turn was associated with lower death rates from heart disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., causing about 652,091 deaths in 2005.

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