A healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, balanced diet… are some of the simplest ways to keep your heart safe. According to a new study, four out of five heart attacks in men are preventable if five recommended health behaviors are strictly followed by them.
A good percentage of heart attacks in men can be prevented if few lifestyle changes are followed religiously. The five behavioral changes include:
- Adopting a regular exercise program
- Maintaining a balanced diet
- Keeping a healthy weight
- Saying no to cigarette smoking
- Cutting alcohol consumption to the lowest level
According to the study, the middle-aged and elderly men are much less likely to develop heart attacks over an average of 11 years if they followed the recommended behavioral changes like alcohol consumption moderately, quitting smoking habit, engaged in regular exercise, following a healthy diet besides maintaining a healthy weight.
An estimated fewer than two percent of American men follow healthy lifestyles good for their cardiovascular health. Approximately 720,000 American adults suffer heart attacks each year, according to the study.
For the study, the researchers examined the medical records of over 20,700 Swedish men ages 45 to 79 and the health surveys they participated in 1997. The participants were found with no history of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes during the study period. All of them were tracked until 2009 so that the researchers could find out how they fared.
Following conclusion of the study period, 1,724 men, i.e. eight percent of the total participants, were found to have not engaged themselves in any of the five mentioned healthy behaviors. Out of the 1,724 men, 166 developed heart attacks.
Out of the 212 participants, one percent of the total participants who practiced all the five healthy lifestyle behaviors, only three suffered heart attacks.
While concluding the findings of the study, the researchers said that if the men follow all the five healthy behaviors religiously then 79 percent of first heart attacks in men can be easily prevented.
The study’s findings were detailed in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.