Study Finds More than 98 percent of Adults Don’t Follow a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

A recently published study found that less than 2 percent of Americans follow seven critical behaviors that can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the U.S., so this research yielded especially alarming results.

The study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association followed nearly 45,000 adults between 1988 and 2010. The percentage of this group following the seven heart healthy behaviors between 1988 and 1994 was 2 percent. This figure dropped down to 1.2 percent of the 45,000 people in the study between 2005 and 2010.

Researchers found that participants meeting six of the seven healthy behaviors had a 76 percent lower risk of heart-related death. Additionally, this group had a 51 percent lowered risk of dying from any cause compared to participants who met one or zero of the seven heart healthy behaviors.

If you meet the seven heart healthy requirements listed below, nice work! You’re greatly reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. If you’re not living your life according to these seven healthy behaviors, it’s OK. It’s not too late to make the proper lifestyle changes to improve your heart health.

Seven Heart Healthy Behaviors

  • Do not smoke
  • Exercise – be physically active – everyday of the week (60 minutes minimum)
  • Maintain normal blood pressure under 120/80 (eat less salt/sodium)
  • Maintain healthy fasting blood-glucose level below 100
  • Keep your total cholesterol level less than 200
  • Maintain a healthy bodyweight and BMI
  • Eating a healthy diet (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats/proteins, low-fat dairy)

Sounds easy enough, right? Well, we all know it’s not that easy, but it can be done with a little dedication and focus. Make small changes to your life to accomplish one heart healthy behavior at a time. It really comes down to eating right and being physically active everyday.

Source: CBS News

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