Healthy lifestyle can reduce genetic risk of heart disease by half – study

People with a high genetic risk of heart disease can help reduce their risk through healthy eating, new research shows.

In research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers studied 55,685 people.


The results showed that among participants at high genetic risk, a favourable lifestyle was associated with a nearly 50 per cent lower relative risk of coronary artery disease than an unfavourable lifestyle.


Dr Sekar Kathiresan, chief author of the new study and director at the Center for Human Genetic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, says because people can't alter their genetic profile and their only option is to change their lifestyle, the good news from the study is that making those lifestyle changes can have a real impact.


Among risk factors that people could alter, the researchers found that not smoking cut the overall heart attack risk by 44 per cent, not being obese reduced it by 33 per cent, getting regular physical activity dropped it by 16 per cent and maintaining a healthy diet made a heart attack 9 per cent less likely, Reuters reported.




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First published: November 2016

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