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How Women Can Prevent Heart Disease

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 23rd, 2015

Women can dramatically lower their likelihood of heart disease by following healthy living guidelines, according to a large long-term study.

The study found that women who followed six healthy living recommendations — such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise — dropped their chances of heart disease about 90 percent over 20 years, compared to women living the unhealthiest lifestyles.

The researchers also estimated that unhealthy lifestyles were responsible for almost 75% of heart disease cases in younger and middle-aged women.

The study’s lead author, Andrea Chomistek, an assistant professor at Indiana University Bloomington, found that a healthy lifestyle was also associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing heart disease among women who had already developed a cardiovascular risk factor like diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol.

Healthy Heart The study followed almost 90,000 nurses from 1991 to 2011. The women were between 27 and 44 years old when the study started.

The researchers focused on six behaviors described as healthy: not smoking, exercising at least 2.5 hours a week, having a normal weight, watching seven or fewer hours of television a week, eating a healthy diet, and drinking some alcohol but no more than one drink per day.

Since 91% of nurses are women, let’s work together to keep them healthy. Learn more about SelfCare for HealthCare™ – the transformative program that nourishes caretakers’ minds, bodies and spirits.

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