If a patient is already genetically pre-disposed to heart disease, such as coronary artery disease, can a healthy lifestyle make a difference? A recent article published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), “Genetic Risk, Adherence to a Healthy Lifestyle, and Coronary Disease,” suggests that it does.
It has been well known that lifestyle choices and genetics can both play a large role in heart disease. People who have a healthy lifestyle reduce their risk of heart disease by participating in regular exercise, eating healthy, avoiding smoking, and more. Researchers wanted to see if that lifestyle still benefits patients with a high genetic risk of heart disease. NEJM’s latest study takes a closer look into the link between the two.
To conduct this research, four studies were done involving 55,685 participants. Researchers compared participants with a high, intermediate, and low genetic risk of heart disease. They also compared the lifestyles factors of each participant based on four healthy lifestyle factors, taken from the strategic goals of the American Heart Association. These factors included no smoking, no obesity, physical activity at least once a week, and a healthy diet.
The results were powerful. They found that participants with a high genetic risk of heart disease had a 50% lower risk of experiencing coronary artery disease if they practiced a healthy lifestyle.
It shows that a positive, healthy lifestyle really does matter. You have more power over your health than you might believe. Whether you’re dealing with a genetic pre-disposition to heart disease, or your struggling with a health issue, living healthy makes a difference.
The New England Journal of Medicine’s full original article can be accessed here.