8 in 10 men can avoid a heart attack by just following five simple lifestyle changes. This was the essence of an 11-year study involving 20,271 men.
Swedish researchers have set forth five simple lifestyle changes which will reduce the risk of having a heart attack. The five lifestyle changes include-
- Waist measuring below 38 inches
- Stop smoking
- Stop drinking or drink in moderation
- Walking for 40 minutes a day
- Eating more fruits and vegetables
Effecting these simple lifestyle changes lowers the risk of heart attacks among men. The lifestyle was equally effective in persons who are taking medicines.
The researchers found that even following just one lifestyle change brought a fall by 1/3 in the risks of getting a heart attack. If all five changes were made, the heart attack risk among men fell by a massive 86 percent.
Quitting smoking alone reduces the risks of a heart attack by 36%. In a healthy person the reduction of the risk was 25%.
Abstaining from alcohol is recommended. However drinking less than three units of alcohol daily led to an 8 percent risk reduction. A waist below 38 inches reduced the risk of getting a heart attack by 13%. Moderate exercises such as walking or cycling for 40 minutes cut the risks of heart attack by 7%. A healthy diet coupled with lower consumption of alcohol reduced the risk of heart attacks by 64%.
Dr. Agneta Akesson, an associate professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm said, “It is not surprising that healthy lifestyle choices would lead to a reduction in heart attacks. What is surprising is how drastically the risk dropped.”
Researchers estimated that 80 percent of heart attacks in men could be avoided with these changes.