Please tolerate some good medical advice from this article!
(Physician's First Watch for July 22, 2009)
Healthy Lifestyle Blunts Risks for Heart Failure, Hypertension
David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief
"Healthy lifestyle is associated with reduced risk of both hypertension and heart failure," an editorialist concludes from two prospective JAMA studies.
One study examined the risk for heart failure in some 21,000 male physicians followed for over 20 years. The more the subjects practiced six healthy lifestyle habits, the less likely they were to develop heart failure during follow-up. The healthy habits included: keeping a normal weight, not smoking, exercising regularly, drinking moderately, eating breakfast cereals, and consuming fruits and vegetables. Heart failure risk was 21% with adherence to none of the six, and 10% with adherence to four or more.
Similarly, a study following some 84,000 female nurses for 14 years revealed that greater adherence to a number of lifestyle habits was associated with a lower incidence of hypertension. The factors were: BMI under 25, regular exercise, DASH-diet adherence, moderate drinking, infrequent use of nonnarcotic analgesics, and folic acid supplementation. The difference in incidence between those adhering to all six habits versus those adhering to none was calculated to be about 8 cases per 1000 person-years.
JAMA article on heart failure (Free abstract; full text requires subscription)
JAMA article on hypertension (Free abstract; full text requires subscription)