Lifestyle helps in heart attack risk
NEW YORK - ReutersIt’s no secret that healthy habits do your heart good. But a new study helps confirm that lifestyle also matters for people who have a genetically increased risk of heart problems. The study, reported in the American Journal of Cardiology, focused on men who had at least one parent who’d had a heart attack before the age of 55.
That’s considered “premature” heart disease, and people whose mom or dad had it are also at higher-than-average risk themselves.
That means increased odds of both heart attack and heart failure. Heart failure is a chronic condition in which the heart can’t pump blood efficiently enough to meet the body’s demands -- causing symptoms like fatigue, breathlessness and fluid buildup in the limbs.
In the new study, researchers found that among men with a parental history of premature heart attack, those with a healthier lifestyle were less likely to develop heart failure over two decades.
Healthy habits included not smoking, exercising regularly, keeping a normal weight and drinking alcohol in moderation.
“Our study gives more incentive to follow what’s generally recommended for lowering the risk of heart attack,” lead researcher Dr. Owais Khawaja.