A healthy lifestyle lowers lifetime risk of heart failure in men

October 2, 2009

Adherence to healthy lifestyle factors is associated with a lower lifetime risk of heart failure in apparently healthy men compared with the general population. The lifetime risk is higher in men who have hypertension than in those who do not.

Adherence to healthy lifestyle factors is associated with a lower lifetime risk of heart failure in apparently healthy men compared with the general population. The lifetime risk is higher in men who have hypertension than in those who do not.

Djouss and colleagues prospectively evaluated data obtained from 20,900 men enrolled in the Physicians’ Health Study. They specifically examined how modifiable cardiac risk factors-body weight, smoking status, alcohol intake, exercise participation, and diet-affect the lifetime risk of heart failure.

Overall, the lifetime risk of heart failure was 13.8% at age 40 years and remained constant through age 70 years. The remaining lifetime risk of heart failure was about 2% to 4% higher in men with hypertension than in those without. The more healthy behaviors a man had, the lower his risk; among men with no healthy behaviors, the lifetime risk was about 1 in 5-the highest observed in the study-compared with a 1 in 10 risk among men embracing 4 or more healthy habits (eg, healthy diet, regular exercise).

The authors suggested that confirmation of the influence of modifiable lifestyle factors on the life-time risk of heart failure is warranted in other patient populations.