6 Factors for Preventing Heart Disease in Women

6 Factors for Preventing Heart Disease in Women

Establishing healthy lifestyle habits early is key.

January 20, 2015

Among young women, primordial prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD) through healthy lifestyle factors can substantially reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a prospective analysis of 88,940 women ages 27 to 44 years enrolled in the Nurses Health Study.

During 20 years of follow-up, 456 CHD cases were documented. Researchers attribute 73% of CHD cases and 46% of clinical CVD cases to poor adherence to a healthy lifestyle. The 6 healthy lifestyle factors studied include:

• not smoking

• having a normal body mass index

• physical activity of at least 2.5 hours a week

• watching less than 7 hours of television a week

• following a diet in the top 40% of the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010

• drinking 0.1 to 14.9 grams of alcohol per day

Compared to subjects with no healthy lifestyle factors, those with all 6 factors had the lowest risk of CHD (hazard ratio, 0.08).

Citation: Chomistek AK, Chiuve SE, Eliassen AH, Mukamal KJ, Willett WC, Rimm EB. Healthy lifestyle in the primordial prevention of cardiovascular disease among young women. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65(1):43-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2014.10.024.

Commentary: The decrease in risk of over 90% in CHD by practicing a health lifestyle is remarkable. This study is similar in outcome to a previous study of more than 20,000 men that showed that following a healthy lifestyle could prevent 4 out of 5 myocardial infarctions (MI).1 Similarly, another study showed that following five healthy lifestyle behaviors decreased women’s risk of stroke by over 50%.2 The data on the benefits of health lifestyle are abundant and there is no question that primary prevention, that is the development of healthy lifestyle habits including diet and exercise  is essential if we are going to improve health and decrease the burden of disease. —Neil Skolnik, MD

1. Akesson A, Larsson SC, Discacciati A, Wolk A. Low-risk diet and lifestyle habits in the primary prevention of myocardial infarction in men: a population-based prospective cohort study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64(13):1299-1306. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2014.06.1190.

2. Larsson SC, Akesson A, Wolk A. Healthy diet and lifestyle and risk of stroke in a prospective cohort of women. Neurology. 2014;83:1-6. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000954

About Dr Colin Holloway

Gp interested in natural hormone treatment for men and women of all ages

Posted on June 7, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hi Pam, thought you might find this one interesting. Sue

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