Navigation Links
Get Healthy: Your Middle-Aged Heart Will Thank You
Date:7/5/2008

It's never too late to start eating better, losing weight and exercising, studies find

SATURDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- Your diet isn't all that healthy, and you haven't been to the gym since who knows when. You can't shed those pesky 20 extra pounds, but what's the use, you may ask -- after all, you're well into middle age.

To all that whining, Dr. Dana King would say: "It's not too late. If you make [healthy] changes now, it has a tremendous impact." Particularly on your heart. Even in middle age.

King, a professor of family medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, is one of several researchers who have proven in recent years that it's never too late to get healthy -- and that adopting better habits even in midlife translates to less disease and a longer life.

King led a recent study that evaluated the cardiovascular effects of adopting healthier habits in middle age -- what he calls the "turning back the clock study."

And surprise! It works. What's more, you don't have to be fanatical, but the more healthy habits you adopt, not surprisingly, the healthier you become.

King and his colleagues evaluated almost 16,000 men and women who were between the ages of 45 and 64 when the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study began. The researchers looked specifically at four heart-healthy habits: eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day; exercising at least 2.5 hours a week; keeping a healthy weight; and not smoking.

During four years of follow-up, the researchers found that those who adopted the four healthy habits were 40 percent less likely to die and 35 percent less likely to suffer heart problems than those who did not adopt the beneficial habits. The findings were published in The American Journal of Medicine.

Stephanie Chiuve, a research associate at Harvard School of Public Health, and her colleagues led a similar study that included almost 43,000 middle-aged and older American men who were part of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The goal: to see if a healthy lifestyle is linked with a lower risk of heart disease, even among those who take high blood pressure medication or cholesterol medication.

The researchers looked at basically the same collection of healthy habits that King evaluated in his study, with some additions. "We looked at whether the diet was rich in not only fruits and vegetables but also whole grains, fish, chicken and other poultry and unsaturated fats -- like vegetable oils and nuts," Chiuve said. They also looked at whether participants smoked; got exercise for 3.5 hours a week at a moderate pace; consumed alcohol moderately; and kept a healthy body weight.

All were free of chronic heart disease in 1986, when the study began, and the men were ages 40 to 75.

Like King's team, Chiuve's team found that healthy habits make a big difference. Men who adopted healthy habits during the study period, from 1986 to 2002, had a lower risk of heart disease compared to men who didn't change their overall number of healthy habits.

"For each additional habit you added, the benefit increased," Chiuve said. Men who adopted one healthy habit had a 54 percent lower risk of heart disease, for instance, while those who embraced four had a 78 percent reduction in risk, she said.

"For the men who followed all five, they had an 87 percent lower risk of heart disease than the men who followed none," Chiuve said. The study was published in the journal Circulation.

While the study included only men, Chiuve believes the findings would also apply to women.

More information

To learn more about adopting a healthier lifestyle, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture.



SOURCES: Dana E. King, M.D., professor of family medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston; Stephanie Chiuve, Sc.D., research associate, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; July 2007, The American Journal of Medicine; July 3, 2006, Circulation


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Middle-Aged Women Gaining Weight, Raising Their Stroke Risk
2. Depression, Obesity Coexist in Many Middle-Aged Women
3. Heart Death Rates Worsening for Middle-Aged Adults
4. Depression Pushes Middle-Aged Workers to Retire
5. Gender differences and heart disease
6. WorldHeart Receives Non-Compliance Letter From NASDAQ Stock Market
7. American Heart Association Announces Fourth New Journal - Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions to Debut in August
8. American Lung Association Report Finds Lung Disease Death Rates Increasing While Cancer, Heart Disease and Stroke Death Rates Are Decreasing
9. Certain anti-cancer agents could be harmful to patients with heart disease
10. Concerns About Heart Disease Voiced
11. New cardiovascular score developed to improve heart attack and stroke detection
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/1/2016)... Aliso Viejo, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 01, 2016 , ... ProBrand Reveal Volume 2 ... Pro X . With ProBrand Reveal Volume 2 keyframeless animations, users can easily create a ... over the look and feel of the various presets. Use these title presets to add ...
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... Powerful tools ... Hypnotherapist, Mary O'Maley. What is hypnosis and hypnotherapy and why after centuries, ... control), pain relief (chronic and acute), birthing processes and medical procedures, depression, anxiety, ...
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... ... of us, but there are things we can do to improve the odds of staying healthy ... more that there are simple, yet important steps that can be taken to maintain good health ... for her patients include;, , exercise , healthy diet ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Since launching its annual volunteer campaign on ... footwear industry, has broken all previous participation records in its first two weeks ... during the months of April and May, the 2016 Footwear Cares initiative is ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... our nation’s productivity, stability, even security. Most importantly, employees are the single most ... why are American workers so unhappy? , Just under half of American workers ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)...   Click here for supplemental information regarding ... the nation,s largest independent specialty pharmacy, announced today ... acquire Valley Campus Pharmacy, Inc., doing business as ... pharmacy that provides individualized patient care, based in ... 2015, TNH generated approximately $400 million in revenue. ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... report to their offering.      (Logo: ... plastic surgery products market is expected to grow at ... ,The growing adoption of laser in aesthetics is another ... Lasers are used to treat a broad range of ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 ... George Phillips und Stephen ...    ArisGlobal®, ein führender Anbieter ... gab heute bekannt, dass neue Führungskräfte zum ... gestoßen sind, die vielfältige Erfahrungen mitbringen.  Dies ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: