Posted on Feb 07, 2022, 4 p.m.
According to a recent study published in Circulation, following the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) recommendations is associated with having a lower lifetime risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD).
These recommendations were developed with a focus on cardiovascular health factors that are modifiable with lifestyle changes such as encouraging people to quit smoking, eat a healthier diet, regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight, keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control, and reducing blood sugar levels.
Researchers examined data from The ARIC Study of 10,686 patients aged 45+ who were CHD-free at baseline between 1987-1989: three follow-up studies were conducted between 2011-2013, 2016-2017, and 2018-2019. 56% of the patients were women and the median age was 54 years old.
According to the researchers, many people are able to offset their lifetime risk of CHD by close to half if they manage their health by adhering to the LS7 recommendations. Results showed that the overall remaining lifetime risk of CHD was 27%, which ranged from 16.6% in those with an ideal LS7 score to 43.1% in those with a poor score. Overall, similar lifetime risk estimates were detected among all with poor LS7 scores.
The association of polygenic risk score (PRS) with lifetime risk was found to be different based on ancestry, for example in white patients the remaining lifetime risk ranged from 19.8%-39.3%, and black patients had a lifetime risk ranging from 19.1%-28.6%, according to increasing PRS categories.
“Our finding that high lifetime risk conferred by high PRS can be offset by a healthy lifestyle echoes the findings of previous studies that used more limited genetic risk scores and did not account for the competing risk of death,” wrote lead author Natalie R. Hasbani, MPH, a specialist at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and colleagues.
The authors concluded that “Ideal adherence to LS7 recommendations was associated with lower lifetime risk of CHD for all individuals, especially in those with high genetic susceptibility. In black participants, adherence to LS7 guidelines contributed to lifetime risk of CHD more so than current PRSs. Improved PRSs are needed to properly evaluate genetic susceptibility for CHD in diverse populations.”
You can find out more about Life’s Simple 7 recommendations by clicking here.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.
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