Washington: A new study has observed that following 6 healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent heart disease in nearly 3 out of 4 women.
The study followed participants in a study of nurses established in 1989, which surveyed more than 116,000 participants about their diets and other health habits every two years. Researchers from Indiana University, the Harvard School of Public Health, and Brigham and Women's Hospital analyzed data on 69,247 of the participants who met the requirements for their study.
Andrea K. Chomistek, ScD, a researcher from the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomingtonm, said that although mortality rates from heart disease in the U.S. have been in steady decline for the last four decades, women aged 35-44 have not experienced the same reduction and this disparity may be explained by unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Researchers found that women who adhered to all six healthy lifestyle practices had a 92 percent lower risk of heart attack and a 66 percent lower risk of developing a risk factor for heart disease. This lower risk would mean three quarters of heart attacks and nearly half of all risk factors in younger women may have been prevented if all of the women had adhered to all six healthy lifestyle factors.
For women who were diagnosed with a risk factor, adherence to at least four of the healthy lifestyle factors was associated with a significantly lower risk of going on to develop heart disease when compared to those who did not follow any of the healthy lifestyle practices.
"This is an important public health message," said Chomistek. "Women should begin following these lifestyle practices early in life, especially if they are already taking medication for a risk factor such as hypertension or high cholesterol. It's an easy way to prevent future heart trouble."
The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.