Young adults who improve their lifestyle can enter middle age with a healthier heart new research suggests. In fact those who eat better, slim down, get active, quit smoking, or keep drinking in check may stop or even reverse the natural progression of coronary artery disease.
The conclusion published in the journal Circulation follows an analysis of changing behavioral habits among more than 3,500 men and women. Participants were between 18 and 30 at the outset.
At that time, just 8% were physically active, ate well, drank mildly, and weren't smoking, or struggling with being overweight or obese. 20 years later 34% had made no lifestyle changes while 40% actually saw their healthy lifestyle "scores" get worse.
However, 25% managed to up their game by adopting at least 1 additional healthy habit. What's more while those with worsening lifestyles saw their risk for coronary arterial disease rise those with improving habits saw their risk fall.
The finding suggests that an unhealthy youth is not necessarily a permanent roadblock to an older, but healthier, heart.
I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that can help you stay healthy, happy, and fit.