11 Dec Study Shows Intervention Key to Reducing Risk of Heart Disease, Stroke

Reducing Metabolic Mediators Helps Lower Health Risks

The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. Stroke is No. 4. The AHA suggests one reason for this shocking statistic is the lack of commitment to a heart-healthy lifestyle, and adds, “Your lifestyle is not only your best defense against heart disease and stroke, it’s your responsibility.”

Researchers from Harvard, the Imperial College London, and the University of Sydney agree. Their study on 1.8 million people, published on November 22nd, compared normal-weight people with otherwise similarly situated people of the same age and gender – yet had a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 kg/m2. The goal of their study was to look at how much the increase in heart and stroke risk was explained by high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol and high glucose numbers.

What their study showed was these three risk factors significantly increased the extra danger for stroke by 76% and heart disease by 46%. Blood pressure alone accounted for 65% and 31% of the risk respectfully.  Their conclusion: interventions that reduce these three health risks (high blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose) might address about half of excess risk of coronary heart disease and three-fourths of excess risk of stoke associated with high BMI. Controlling these factors benefits individuals, even if they don’t lose weight.  In other words, any positive direction in healthy living is worth the effort.

Click here to read the full study.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest, largest voluntary organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Founded by six cardiologists in 1924, our organization now includes more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters working tirelessly to eliminate these diseases. We fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to save and improve lives.

Our nationwide organization includes 144 local offices and nearly 2,700 employees. We moved our national headquarters from New York to Dallas in 1975 to be more centrally located. The American Stroke Association was created as a division in 1997 to bring together the organization’s stroke-related activities.