Lifestyle factors attributed to better health

3 June 2013

Healthcare research led by experts from Johns Hopkins University has found evidence that four specific lifestyle habits can significantly improve health. By maintaining a healthy weight, regularly exercising, eating a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains, in addition to not smoking, adults reduce their risk for heart disease and prolong life.

The study found that a combination of all four lifestyle changes can prevent calcium buildup in arteries - a common cause of heart attacks and other cardiovascular conditions.

Lead author of the report, Dr Haitham Ahmed, said: “To our knowledge, this is the first study to find a protective association between low-risk lifestyle factors and early signs of vascular disease, coronary heart disease and death, in a single longitudinal evaluation.”

Researchers found that not smoking is the most effective preventative measure, ahead of diet, exercise and a healthy weight. “In fact, smokers who adopted two or more of the healthy behaviours still had lower survival rates after 7.6 years than did nonsmokers who were sedentary and obese,” said Dr Roger Blumenthal, senior author of the study.

To assess your risk for heart problems, consider a couple of one-off procedures, such as a cholesterol level test and a blood pressure test.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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