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Heart Disease Controlled Through Lifestyle, Not Genes

November 16, 2010
(Article first published as Study Shows Heart Disease Risk a Matter of Lifestyle, Not Genes on Technorati.)

Nearly one million Americans succumb to a form of heart disease every year, and millions more experience reduced quality of life and live in constant fear of a fatal cardiac event. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, as standard medical practice continues to prescribe ineffective pharmaceuticals and a low fat diet.

Unfortunately for the scores of people who follow this advice, the end result is always the same – slow progression of the disease and ultimately an early death. Researchers have now published the five most significant risk factors that will allow you to take control of this devastating disease, regardless of genetic predisposition.
Heart Disease Develops From Poor Lifestyle Choices
The results of two large studies conducted at Northwestern University both point to preventable lifestyle choices that promote heart disease, regardless of your genes. Alternative health experts have long known that factors including diet, weight and physical activity significantly impact the development of disease. Researchers have now demonstrated that strict adherence to five factors from an early age can lower or eliminate the risk of heart disease.
Five Lifestyle Factors You Can Control

The study results were presented to the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2010 meeting in Chicago. Researchers found that young adults who maintain a healthy lifestyle through mid-life did not exhibit the common high risk profile including high blood pressure, poor lipid profile and excess body weight. The risk factors indentified include “not smoking, low or no alcohol intake, weight control, physical activity and a healthy diet.”

 
Start Healthy Habits Early in Life
The study focused on individuals that were in compliance with the five risk factors from an early stage in their life. These individuals were found to reach middle age with a much better heart disease risk profile, regardless of family history and predisposition toward heart disease. Participants were followed for a period of 20 years, and those who were in compliance with all five risk factor were 60% less likely to develop heart disease, 37% for four factors and 30% for three.
Heart Disease is Not Inherited

The results of a second Northwestern University study demonstrates that our lifestyle actions are behind the initiation and proliferation of heart disease, and genetics play a very minor role in the process. Researchers tracked more than 16,000 individuals across 3 generations of families and concluded, “What you do and how you live is going to have a larger impact on whether you are in ideal cardiovascular health than your genes or how you were raised.” The poor habits that cause heart disease may be learned as they are passed from generation to generation, but they don’t pass to us through our genes.

Controlling the five lifestyle factors identified in this research should be a mission for every man, woman and child from an early age. Extensive information confirms that heart disease is not only preventable, but can also be reversed when all known risk factors are addressed.
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