A new study suggests following seven healthy habits could lower your risk of heart failure. Senior study author, Vanessa Xanthakis, Ph.D., said, “Even though there is awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, many people don’t act on those messages.”
The study consisted of 3,200 Americans with an average age of 59. Participants were followed for up to 12 years, and 188 of them developed heart failure during that time.
Participants with the highest scores from the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 checklist for a healthy heart had a lower risk of heart failure compared to those with the lowest scores.
The measurements outlined on the checklist include: manage blood pressure, control cholesterol, reduce blood sugar, get physically active, eat better, lose weight and quit smoking.
Each added point on the checklist lowered the risk of heart failure by 23 percent. Those in the middle reduced their risk by half compared to those in the bottom third and those with the highest scores reduced their risk by more than double.
Xanthakis added, “This study points to the importance of knowing your numbers and speaking to your doctor about improving your score on each health metric and trying to get as close to ideal status as possible.”
Study lead author, Dr. Matthew Nayor, concluded, “This is a useful [guide] for a healthy lifestyle that may not only help you reduce your chances of heart attack and stroke, but also of developing heart failure in the future.”