Heart Disease and Diet

    Heart disease is preventable by just eating the right food and doing exercise, yet it is the biggest killer in most of the industrialized world. Experts say that it shows that everyone can benefit from dietary and lifestyle improvements.
    Dr. Daniel Levy, the director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study, which has been investigating heart disease for 50 years in Framingham, Massachusetts, published a study in this week's issue of The Lancet, a British medical journal. The study would indicate quite to the contrary to the previously held notion that if one reaches the age of 70 free of heart disease, that person is unlikely to get it before the death. Scientists have known for some time that the risk of developing coronary heart disease over a lifetime must be high, but they have not known exactly how to quantify it. According to the new study that estimates the lifetime risk of coronary heart disease, men under 40 have a 50 percent chance of developing some form of heart disease, while women of the same age have a one-in-three chance. In the study of 7,733 people aged 40-94, the researchers determined that one out of every three men and one out of every four women over 70 will develop the disease in their remaining years.  Levy says that smoking, being overweight, not exercising enough, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are all known to contribute to the risk. If those factors are controlled, a huge proportion of heart disease cases could be eradicated.

    Dr. James Cleeman, coordinator of the National Cholesterol Education Program at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says, "People have mistaken the fact that heart disease shows up in the middle life, that there's where the focus should occur. But we know for sure the damage is done early and it plays itself out over a lifetime."
    Good habits such as balanced vegetarian diet, exercise and abstaining from bad habits like smoking, drinking alcohol etc., from an early age will certainly help you live longer and healthier. Health is wealth!
Sreenivasarao Vepachedu, 01/06/1999

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