Posted on Oct 20, 2014, 6 a.m.
Making healthy lifestyle choices could prevent as many as 4 out of 5 coronary events in men.
Study results suggest that following a healthy lifestyle – maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise, not smoking and moderating alcohol intake, could prevent as many as 4 out of 5 coronary events in men. Agneta Akesson, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, and colleagues followed 20,721 healthy Swedish men aged 45-79 for 11-years. The researchers assessed participants’ lifestyle choices through a questionnaire exploring diet, alcohol consumption, smoking status, level of physical activity and abdominal fat. Results revealed a clear reduction in risk for heart attack for each individual lifestyle factor the participants practiced was observed. For example, eating a low-risk diet coupled with moderate alcohol consumption led to an estimated 35% lower risk of heart attack compared to men in the high-risk group – those who practiced none of the low-risk factors. Whereas men who practised all of the low-risk factors (non-smokers, walked or cycled for at least 40-minutes per day, exercised at least 1-hour per week, waist circumference below 95 centimeters, consumed moderate amounts of alcohol, and ate a healthy diet) had a 86% lower risk compared to the high-risk group. "It is not surprising that healthy lifestyle choices would lead to a reduction in heart attacks," said Akesson. "What is surprising is how drastically the risk dropped due to these factors."
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;64:1299-1306.