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Healthy Lifestyle Reduces Risk Of Heart Disease, Cancer

March 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The same lifestyle patterns that lead to a healthier heart also reduce the risk of cancer, according to a new U.S. study. Being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, no smoking, etc., are all recommended by the American Heart Association as “Life’s Simple 7 Steps” to lower the risk of heart disease. Participants in the study begun in 1987 included 13,253 white and African-American men and women who were interviewed about their diet and other lifestyle factors. After 20 years, 22 percent were found to have cancer. Adhering to six or all of the seven factors reduced the risk of cancer by 51 percent, compared with participants who met none of the factors. Meeting just four factors led to a 33 percent risk reduction.
Laura J. Rasmussen-Torvik et al., "Ideal Cardiovascular Health is Inversely Associated with Incident Cancer: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study", Circulation, March 18, 2013, © American Heart Association
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