Medical Monday: These Six Activities Could...

Posted at 7:13 PM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-15 20:13:34-05
February is American Heart Month. Dr. Scott Weslow is an interventional cardiologist with Aurora BayCare. He stopped by “Wisconsin Tonight” to discuss tips to keep your heart healthy. 
So, what's the latest news for those looking to take better care of their hearts?
Well, a recently published study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology says women who cultivate six healthy lifestyle habits are significantly less likely to develop cardiovascular disease. That's good news, indeed.
What are some highlights of the study?
Nearly 70,000 women ages 27 to 44 years participating in the Nurses' Health Study II had their health data analyzed. Over the course of the 20-year study, more than 450 women experienced heart attacks and nearly 32,000 were diagnosed with heart disease risk factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. The researchers determined that women who followed six key lifestyle habits were 92 percent less likely to develop heart disease.
And those healthy habits are?:
* Maintaining a healthy diet
* Consuming an average of one or zero alcoholic beverages per day
* Exercising at least 2.5 hours weekly
* Watching seven or fewer hours of TV per week
* Not smoking
* Keeping a healthy BMI
Women have to do all six of these every day to gain the benefits?
Ideally, yes. According to the researchers, more than 70 percent of the heart attacks in the study group could have been prevented if the women had followed the six lifestyle habits. However, only about 5 percent of the participants did that during the duration of the study.
The healthy habits sound like common sense habits; what's the takeaway from this?
This study is particularly interesting because women can prevent heart disease solely by instituting lifestyle changes without necessarily requiring medication.
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