80% of Heart Attacks Could Be Prevented with Five Health Behaviors

80% of Heart Attacks Could Be Prevented with Five Health Behaviors
80% of Heart Attacks Could Be Prevented with Five Health Behaviors

(HealthDay News) — Five recommended health behaviors may prevent four out of five heart attacks in men, according to a study published in the September 30 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Agneta Åkesson, PhD, from the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and colleagues examined medical records and surveys of more than 20,700 Swedish men who were 45–79 years old in 1997. At the time, the men had no history of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Low-risk behavior included five factors: a healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption, no smoking, being physically active, and having no abdominal adiposity.

During 11 years of follow-up, the researchers tracked 1,361 incident cases of myocardial infarction (MI). The low-risk dietary choice together with moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a relative risk of 0.65 compared with men having none of the low-risk factors. The 1% of men in the study group who practiced all five healthy behaviors had a relative risk of 0.14 compared to those who ate poorly, were overweight, exercised too little, smoked, and drank too much alcohol.

Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that all five healthy behaviors together could prevent 79% of first MI events in men.

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