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Following Heart-Healthy Behaviors May Lengthen Your Life
Date:3/19/2012

ollowing the recommended health behaviors might offer greater protection against premature death from cardiovascular disease among people under age 60.

"As diabetes, obesity and sedentary lifestyle are on the rise, it is crucial that we establish and reinforce these parameters in every individual," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and a spokeswoman for the AHA. "With the American Heart Association's goal to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease by 20 percent by the year 2020, these health metrics are critical in determining the best course of action by both patients and doctors to prevent heart disease."

The study appears online Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, to coincide with its presentation at an American Heart Association meeting.

There are many ways to improve the cardiovascular health of Americans, according to an accompanying editorial by Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

"Despite the apparent difficulties in achieving the goal, there is much to be optimistic about, and opportunities abound for physicians, policy makers, and consumers to support improvements in cardiovascular health. Continued focus through the health care system on meeting primary and secondary prevention targets is critically important, so that individuals at risk can take one step forward from poor to intermediate cardiovascular health," Lloyd-Jones wrote in a journal news release.

"Advocacy will be needed for new public health and social policies to tilt the playing field toward healthier choices, so more individuals can move from intermediate to ideal levels or maintain ideal cardiovascular health," Lloyd-Jones added. "The debate over this year's farm bill, which will set policy for years to come, represents an opportunity for advocacy for cardiovascular health and a healthier fo
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