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HHS HealthBeat (July 31, 2013)

Four for life

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Keep your heart healthy

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Want to live? Researchers know of four things people can do that could keep the Reaper at bay. They saw it in data on 6,200 men and women who were followed for an average of about seven and a half years.

At Johns Hopkins’ Ciccarone Center for Prevention of Heart Disease, Haitham Ahmed says the most important is not smoking. The others are staying physically active; eating a Mediterranean-style diet with fruit, nuts, whole grains, fish and olive oil, and keeping a normal weight.

Ahmed says people who did all four did best, but:

“The more healthy behaviors you adopted, the better you did over many years -- and by better, I mean cardiovascular disease and death.”

The study in the American Journal of Epidemiology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: July 29, 2013