A healthy lifestyle—including being physically active, eating a nutritious diet and not smoking—plays a significant role in living a longer, healthier life. This conclusion emerged from an observational study of 7,000 men and women aged 25–74 who were periodically assessed over a 35-year period. Researchers based the analysis on the American Heart Association’s definition of ideal cardiovascular health. This definition includes absence of clinical heart disease, together with positive outcomes on “Life’s Simple 7” health metrics:
- body mass index
- smoking status
- physical activity level
- fasting blood glucose concentrations
- blood pressure
- total blood cholesterol levels
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death among Americans, and good scores on these factors are linked with a lower likelihood of heart disease. Find the study in the Journal of the American Heart Association (2018; doi:10.1161/JAHA.118.008741).