Thursday, July 23, 2009

Healthy lifestyle halves heart failure risk

Men who follow a healthy lifestyle may cut their risk of heart failure in half. Researchers say it's the first time a large study has shown that modifiable lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, alcohol use, and smoking, can have a significant impact on the lifetime risk of congestive heart failure. About 550,000 Americans each year are diagnosed with congestive heart failure, and 20%-50% die from the disease. The condition occurs when the heart is no longer strong enough to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Although medical treatments can slow the progression of the disease, there is no cure. In an editorial that accompanies the study in The Journal of the American Medical Association, Veronique L. Roger, MD, MPH, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., says the findings underscore a powerfully simple message - that a healthy lifestyle will help prevent heart disease and greatly enhance overall health

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