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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle from your 20s into your 40s may spell lower cardiovascular risk in mid-age, says a new study. "The problem is few adults can maintain ideal cardiovascular health factors as they age," said Kiang Liu, study co-author and professor of preventive medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. "Many middle-aged adults develop unhealthy diets, gain weight and aren't as physically active. Such lifestyles, of course, lead to high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes and elevated cardiovascular risk," added Liu, the journal Circulation reports.
"In this study, even people with a family history of heart problems were able to have a low cardiovascular disease risk profile if they started living a healthy lifestyle when they were young," Liu said. "This supports the notion that lifestyle may play a more prominent role than genetics," Liu added, according to a statement of Feinberg School. The majority of people who maintained five healthy lifestyle factors from young adulthood (including a lean body mass index (BMI) or height to weight ratio, no excess alcohol intake, no smoking, a healthy diet and regular physical activity) were able to remain in this low-risk category in their middle-aged years.
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