Healthy lifestyle lowers mid-age cardiac risk

Last Updated: Mar 04, 2012, 14:52 PM IST

Washington: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle from your 20s into your 40s may spell lower cardiovascular risk in mid-age, says a new study.

"The problem is few adults can maintain ideal cardiovascular health factors as they age," said Kiang Liu, study co-author and professor of preventive medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.

"Many middle-aged adults develop unhealthy diets, gain weight and aren`t as physically active. Such lifestyles, of course, lead to high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes and elevated cardiovascular risk," added Liu, the journal Circulation reports.
"In this study, even people with a family history of heart problems were able to have a low cardiovascular disease risk profile if they started living a healthy lifestyle when they were young," Liu said.

"This supports the notion that lifestyle may play a more prominent role than genetics," Liu added, according to a statement of Feinberg School.

The majority of people who maintained five healthy lifestyle factors from young adulthood (including a lean body mass index (BMI) or height to weight ratio, no excess alcohol intake, no smoking, a healthy diet and regular physical activity) were able to remain in this low-risk category in their middle-aged years.

IANS