How Young Women Prevent Future Heart Disease

How Young Women Prevent Future Heart Disease
Women who led an active, healthy lifestyle as young adults have a 92% lower risk of developing heart disease as they reach middle age. That’s the conclusion reached by a team of researchers from the Indiana University School of Public Health in Bloomington.

Analyzing data from the Nurses Study II, an in-depth twenty year review of health habits of thousands of women, starting in their twenties and thirties, the Indiana University team looked at six specific healthy habits. They included:
  • Not smoking,
  • Eating a healthy diet,
  • Maintaining a healthy weight,
  • Exercising more than 2.5 hours weekly
  • Drinking alcohol no more than once a day,
  • Watching TV less than seven hours a week.
Study Results

Women who practiced all six of these healthy habits when compared with those who practiced none had a 92% lower risk of heart attack. Heart disease is the number one killer of American women, taking the lives of close to 300,000 women a year. That’s one out of every four female deaths. Heart disease is even more lethal than all forms of cancer combined. In the U.S. each year, 1 in 31 women die from breast cancer, while 1 in 3 dies from heart disease.

The Indiana University research team pointed out even though the risk of death from heart attack among older people has declined over the past 40 years, that’s not true for younger women. Fatal heart attacks among younger women have increased during that same period of time.

The researchers also found those women who didn’t smoke, ate a healthy diet and exercised on a regular basis had a 66% lower risk of developing heart risk factors such as high blood pressure or diabetes in their 40s and 50s. The researchers concluded that a healthy lifestyle could prevent more than 70% of heart attacks in younger women.

Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle ASAP

The truth is it is never too soon or too late to make healthy lifestyle changes. Women at any age who have already developed such heart disease complications as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, can still benefit from adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Even by embracing just one of the above healthy lifestyle habits, you can improve your odds of not being a heart attack statistic. Take smoking, for example. Within twenty minutes after you quit smoking, your blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal and after one year of not smoking, your risk of heart disease is less than half of that of a smoker and the results continue to improve. And by walking at a moderate pace (3 MPH) five days a week, you could lose between a half to one pound a week and just a 5 to 10% weight loss can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease.

The rewards and benefits of adopting all six healthy lifestyle habits can be lifesaving.

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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.

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