Date: September 14, 2015
One in four middle-aged adults who survive to age 85 will develop heart failure, according to current estimates. Intervention programs to improve lifestyles are widely advocated, but do they actually work? Investigators in the U.S. and Taiwan independently examined programs that may reduce cardiovascular risk and concluded that both programs will reduce lifetime risk of heart failure. Results are reported in The American Journal of Medicine.
A group of American investigators estimated whether greater adherence to the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Life’s Simple 7 is associated with lower lifetime risk of heart failure and greater preservation of cardiac structure and function.
“Our study demonstrates that greater adherence to the AHA’s Life’s Simple 7 in middle age is associated with a lower lifetime occurrence of heart failure and greater preservation of cardiac structure and function,’ explained lead investigator Aaron R. Folsom, MD, of the Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota. ‘To lessen the public health burden of heart failure, cardiovascular disease, and potentially, other chronic diseases, health professionals need to encourage the public to optimize lifestyle-related risk factors before middle age.”
AHA recommends that Americans follow Life’s Simple 7, which describes ideal, intermediate, and poor levels of cardiovascular disease risk factors or behaviors: smoking, body mass index, physical activity, diet, total cholesterol, blood pressure, and fasting serum glucose. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study documented that the number of ideal Simple 7 factors achieved is associated strongly and inversely with later incidence of total cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and cancer. Yet, no publication has specifically addressed the degree to which following this plan might lower lifetime heart failure risk or preserve cardiac structure and function in old age. [FULL STORY]