Apparently it does, according to a study reported in the American Journal of Cardiology.
This study, led by Dr. Owais Khawaja of the Harvard Medical School, focused on men who had at least one parent that suffered a heart attack before the age of 55. This is considered to be premature heart disease, and children of such parents are at a higher risk of premature heart failure themselves.
The data for this study is based on the Physicians' Health Study, which has followed over 20,000 US male doctors since the 1980s.
The results of the study indicates that men with a family history of premature heart attacks were less likely to suffer a premature heart attack themselves if they lived a healthy lifestyle.
How Did They Live A Healthy Lifestyle?
They adhered to at least 3 healthy, modifiable lifestyle habits. Modifiable lifestyle habits include
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Not smoking
- Regular physical exercise
- Moderate alcohol consumption
- Eating a healthy breakfast regularly
- And a high consumption of fruits and vegetables
Of the genetically-at-risk men living a healthy lifestyle, the rate of heart failure is 7 cases for each 10,000 men each year. This is in comparison with genetically-at-risk men living an unhealthy lifestyle, which have a heart failure rate of 14 cases for each 10,000 men each year.
This indicates that even with a genetic predisposition to heart failure, a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce your chances of having a heart attack.
In conclusion, if you truly want a longer and healthier life, you must adhere to a healthy lifestyle.
Reuters: " Even at higher genetic heart risk, lifestyle helps "
The American Journal of Cardiology: " Usefulness of Desirable Lifestyle Factors "
JAMA: " Relation Between Modifiable Lifestyle Factors and Lifetime Risk of Heart Failures "