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Proven prescription for a longer, healthier life

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Do you want to have a higher quality of life well into retirement, and not be burdened with massive prescription drug costs? Here's the proven prescription –

  • A study of 84 129 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study identified 5 healthy lifestyle factors, including absence of current smoking, drinking glass or more of wine per day (or equivalent alcohol consumption), hour or more per day of moderate or vigorous physical activity, BMI <25 kg/m2, and dietary score in the top 40% (including diets with lower amounts of trans fats, lower glycemic load, higher cereal fiber, higher marine omega-3 fatty acids, higher folate, and higher polyunsaturated to saturated fat ratio). When 3 of the 5 healthy lifestyle factors were present, risk for CHD over 14 years was reduced by 57%; when 4 were present, risk was reduced by 66%; and when all 5 factors were present, risk was reduced by 83%.

  • Among individuals ages 70 to 90 years, adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet and greater physical activity are associated with 65% to 73% lower rates of all-cause mortality, as well as mortality due to CHD, CVD, and cancer.


  • Seventeen-year mortality data from the NHANES II Mortality Follow-Up Study indicate that the risk for fatal CHD was 51% lower for men and 71% lower for women with none of 3 major risk factors (hypertension, current smoking, and elevated total cholesterol 240 mg/dL) compared with those with 1 or more risk factors. Had all 3 major risk factors not occurred, it is estimated that 64% of all CHD deaths among women and 45% of CHD deaths in men could have been avoided.

  • Investigators from the Chicago Heart Association Detection Project in Industry have also observed that risk factor burden in middle age is associated with better quality of life at follow-up in older age (about 25 years later) and lower average annual Medicare costs at older ages.

   - A greater number of risk factors in middle age is associated with lower scores at older ages on assessment of social functioning, mental health, walking, and health perception in women, with similar findings in men.

   - Similarly, a greater number of risk factors in middle age is associated with higher average annual CVD-related and total Medicare costs (once Medicare eligibility is attained).


From the 2007 Report From the American Heart Association

In other words, if you start taking better care of yourself in middle age, you’ll be healthier in your old age. That’s good news, isn’t it? It’s never too late.”


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