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Make Your Heart Happy

Researchers have confirmed the power of some simple health changes on the long-term health of your heart.

A new study reported that five healthy habits may add more than 10 years to your life, with not smoking, eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and moderate alcohol consumption said to add up to 14 years of life for women aged 50 and 12 years for men. The study also revealed that by following the five healthy habits, women and men in this study were 82 per cent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 65 per cent less likely to die from cancer compared with people who didn’t follow any of the five habits.

For the study, researchers analysed data from two major studies on dietary, lifestyle and medical information on thousands of adults and compared this with mortality data to estimate the impact of lifestyle factors on life expectancy in the US population.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Angie Brown, Medical Director of the Irish Heart Foundation, explained: “This study shows the benefit of a healthy diet, regular exercise, keeping to a healthy weight, stopping smoking if you smoke, and cutting down on alcohol. The benefits of these lifestyle changes have been shown in many studies and are reflected in this study, which shows these measures can significantly prolong life expectancy. The results should encourage us all to lead healthier lives.”

The study was published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.