People can lower their risk of death from heart disease by following seven health recommendations, a new study finds.
The recommendations, from the American Heart Association, are: don't smoke; be physically active; eat a healthy diet; and have normal blood pressure, blood glucose, total cholesterol levels, and weight.
In the study, the more recommendations people met, the less likely they were to die of heart disease over the 15-year study. Participants who met six or more of the recommendations were 76 percent less likely to die of heart disease, and 51 percent less likely to die of any cause during the study, compared with participants who met one or fewer of the requirements.
The study involved nearly 45,000 adults ages 20 or older in the United States who answered questions about their diet and lifestyle behaviors, and underwent a physical exam.
Meeting all seven recommendations was not common. In a 2005 to 2010 arm of the survey, just 1.2 percent of participants met all the recommendations. Younger participants, women and those with more years of education tended to meet a greater number of the recommendations.
The study is published online today (March 16) in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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