It’s no surprise that to live a healthy life, you need a healthy heart. Your heart is responsible for supplying the body with oxygenated blood, and when the rest of your body gets oxygenated blood it can perform at its best.
A new study has uncovered another benefit to maintaining a healthy heart in older age –it reduces frailty. The study suggests that frailty may be something that can be prevented.
This is the largest study of its kind and it uncovered that reducing one’s risk of heart disease is enough to reduce the risk of frailty, dementia, chronic pain, and other conditions that can arise with age.
Many perceive frailty as a normal part of aging, but the latest research findings suggest that among those with near-ideal cardiovascular health, there is a lower risk of frailty.
Lead author of the study Dr. João Delgado explained, “This study indicates that frailty and other age-related diseases could be prevented and significantly reduced in older adults. Getting our heart risk factors under control could lead to much healthier old ages. Unfortunately, the current obesity epidemic is moving the older population in the wrong direction, however, our study underlines how even small reductions in risk are worthwhile.”
The study looked at over 421,000 men and women aged 60 to 69 who were followed for 10 years.
The researchers looked at six factors that affect heart health including uncontrolled blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, being overweight, smoking status, and physical activity levels.
Joint lead author Dr. Janice Atkins added, “A quarter (26 percent) of participants from UK Biobank, made of predominantly healthy volunteers, had near perfect cardiovascular risk factors compared to only 2.4 percent of the population via GP records. This highlights the huge potential for improvement in cardiovascular risk factors of the general population in the UK.”
The study reveals that many conditions that we believe to be age-related can actually be prevented or the risk can be reduced.
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