A new study has proved that old-age diseases can be prevented if one maintains a healthy heart when h or she is young.
In an observation, researchers found that 60% of those who were healthy when young were at low risk for later age heart and blood vessel diseases were less likely to report disability when they age in terms of risk level measurements like blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index, diabetes and smoking status.
Researchers based their findings on correlation of data from 3,669 men and 2,345 women from the Chicago Heart Association Detection Project in Industry with the participants’ responses to a 2003 health survey on disability and quality of life. The study period spread over 1967 and 1973 and all the participants were aged 29-68.
Thanh Huyen T. Vu, lead researcher and assistant professor at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, said that a healthy lifestyle at all ages is the key. Healthcare providers should promote a healthy lifestyle early in life for their patients, as has been shown in their research with favorable levels of cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Data was c linked to the long-term association of favorable levels of all major cardiovascular disease risk factors with ankle-brachial index (ABI). In 2007-2010, the Chicago Healthy Aging Study re-examined a subset of participants aged 65 to 84 years from the Project in Industry.
Findings from two types of groups based on the defined risk factors in groups, as Low Risk (untreated blood pressure ≤ 120/≤ 80 mm Hg, untreated serum cholesterol <200 mg/dL, body mass index <25 kg/m(2), not smoking, no diabetes) or as 0 Risk Factors, 1 RF, or 2+ RFs based on the presence of blood pressure ≥ 140/≥ 90 mm Hg or receiving treatment, serum cholesterol ≥ 240 mg/dL or receiving treatment, body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m(2), smoking, or diabetes.
Ankle-brachial index or ABI at follow-up was categorized as indicating PAD present (≤ 0.90), as borderline PAD (0.91 to 0.99), or as normal (1.00 to 1.40). In all, the researchers included 1346 participants with ABI ≤ 1.40. After multivariable adjustment, the presence of fewer baseline RFs was associated with a lower likelihood of PAD at 39-year follow-up.
The risk group developed problems mainly due to baseline smoking status, cholesterol, and diabetes, said researchers. Remaining free of adverse RFs or improving RF status over time was also associated with PAD. LR profile in younger adulthood (ages 25 to 45) is associated with the lowest prevalence of PAD and borderline PAD 39 years later.
The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Session 2014.[categroy, health]