Most Heart Attacks Can be Prevented by Just 5 Things

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Doctors and researchers are the first to point out that almost everyone can save themselves a great deal of money and pain by simply living a healthier lifestyle. A recent study looked at various aspects of what would be called “healthy living” and the rates at which men had heart attacks, or myocardial infarction (MI).

There are more than 1.5 million heart attacks each year in the US. MIs leave the muscles of the heart with irreversible damage.

The goal of this study was to look at the benefits of combining a low-risk diet with a healthy lifestyle and the impact it would have on MI occurrences for men. First, researchers asked the test subjects to answer detailed questionnaires about the typical diet and lifestyle. Medical records were then examined. Researchers looked for a history of cancer, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, and heart disease. This study involved more than 20,000 Swedish men, all between the ages of 45 and 79, over a period of 11 years.

Some behaviors that were considered to be low risk or “healthy” were eating a healthy diet, not smoking, getting regular exercise, no excessive belly fat, and moderate alcohol consumption.

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology published the results of this study and it revealed that 166 of these subjects who did not practice any of the above healthy habits had heart attacks. Only 212 subjects practiced all 5 of the above healthy habits and only 3 of these men had heart attacks during the study period. Read more about heart disease.

This means that almost 4 out of every 25 men could have prevented their heart attacks to begin with, simply by following the healthy lifestyle habits.

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The authors of this study suggested that practicing all 5 behaviors together could prevent about 79 percent of all first heart attacks for men. Even performing each behavior by itself would reduce overall risk for having an MI.

Those who at a well-balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, nuts, fruit, and reduced dairy, had a nearly 20 percent lower risk compared to those who didn’t. Find out the best and the worst nuts for your health.

Many people are looking for that magic pill or potion that will prevent a heart attack or heart disease, when the truth is the above 5 healthy lifestyle factors ARE the magic everyone is looking for.

Although experts state that is uncommon to die from a first heart attack, most people who have one heart attack will have another in the future, so preventing the first one is of the upmost importance, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Unfortunately for Americans, the news is not good. It seems that only about 2 percent of our population actually practices more than one of the above 5 healthy lifestyle habits. This is a reminder that eating processed foods, junk foods, sugar filled sodas, and a sedentary lifestyle is not without its price.

 

SEE ALSO: 21 Foods For Healthy Heart Infographic

 

No matter what Big Medicine may tell you, there is no magic pill you can take that will undo all the damage caused by living an unhealthy life, especially when talking about the damage that heart attacks do to the heart muscle itself.

Sources:

Health.usnews.com

Emedicine.medscape.com

Cardiometabolic.cardiosource.org