Healthy lifestyle decreases risk of heart attacks in men, Study
Healthy lifestyle decreases risk of heart attacks in men, Study

Healthy lifestyle decreases risk of heart attacks in men, Study

Adhering to a healthy lifestyle helps men slash four out of five coronary events, a new study has revealed.

Coronary events refer to the adverse episodes caused by diseases that affect the coronary arteries. In the latest study, researchers at the Karolinska Institute, Stockhlom, found that by following a healthy lifestyle that includes maintaining a healthy diet, exercise and not smoking, and moderating intake of alcohol, men could reduce the risk of heart attack.

The authors of the new study followed 20,721 healthy Swedish men for 11 years. They were all between 45 and 79 years old.

The men answered surveys about their diet, alcohol consumption, smoking habits, exercise levels and belly fat.

The study authors noted that those with the lowest risk of heart events were those who walked or cycled for at least 40 minutes per day, exercised at least one hour per week and had a waist size of less than 37 inches. They also drank moderate amounts of alcohol and ate fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, reduced-fat dairy products, whole grains and fish. Also, the men with the lowest risk did not smoke.

Each healthy lifestyle choice reduced heart attack risk, the authors noted.

For example, the authors observed that men who followed a healthy diet combined with moderate alcohol consumption had an estimated 35 percent lower risk of heart attack — compared to the high-risk men who had none of the healthy behaviors.

The chances of having a heart attack went down dramatically in men who engaged in all the healthy lifestyle choices. The study authors calculated an 86 percent reduction in risk for these men.

The authors said that all the healthy lifestyle choices combined could prevent almost 4 out of 5 heart attacks in men.

These lifestyle choices also had a major impact on high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, the authors noted.

“It is not surprising that healthy lifestyle choices would lead to a reduction in heart attacks,” said Dr. Akesson in a press release. “What is surprising is how drastically the risk dropped due to these factors.”

The study authors noted that less than 2 percent of the US population follows habits that promote ideal heart health.

“It is important to note that these lifestyle behaviors are modifiable, and changing from high-risk to low-risk behaviors can have great impact on cardiovascular health,” Dr. Akesson added. “However, the best thing one can do is to adopt healthy lifestyle choices early in life.”


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