When it comes to heart diseases, genetics is not a destiny. A new data analysis of over 55,000 individuals shows that by living right— by exercising moderately, by eating a healthy diet and by not smoking — individuals can tamp down genetic risk.
Approximately 365,000 individuals die of coronary heart disease annually in the US, and about 17.3 million globally, making it one of the leading killers.
The researchers found that genes can increase the heart disease risk, but healthy habits cut it in half. Also important, they found, a bad lifestyle removes about half of the advantages of good genetics.
In one study the group analyzed white and black Americans aged 45 to 64. A health living in people with the highest genetic risk reduced the 10-year possibility of heart disease to about 5.1% from 10, 7 %. Another study that involved 21,222 women aged 45 and older had a good lifestyle; their 10-year risk reduced to 2% from 4.6% in the high risk group once they had a healthy lifestyle. Finally, in a study of individuals aged 55 to 80, those who had a genetic risk but a good lifestyle had less calcium, a heart disease sign, in their coronary arteries. The new study showed a new way to think about lifestyle and genes.