Seven secrets to a long life

Seven secrets to a long life



Research shows that most 50-year-olds who do that can live another 40 years free of stroke and heart disease, two of the most common killers, says Dr Clyde Yancy, president of the American Heart Association. The heart association published the advice online on Wednesday in the journal “Circulation”.

The group also is introducing an online quiz to help people gauge how close they are to the ideal. If you fall a bit short, it offers tips for improving.

“These seven factors — if you can keep them ideal or control them — end up being the fountain of youth for your heart,” said Donald M Lloyd-Jones, a cardiologist who was lead author of the statement. “You live longer, you live healthier longer, you have much better quality of life in older age, require less medication, less medical care.”

Specifically, those with ideal cardiovascular health can answer yes to the following seven questions:

The online quiz calculates a score based on the answers, 10 being the ideal.
Doctors say the quiz is a good way for people to get a handle on how they're doing, especially since people often think they're doing better than they actually are. The heart association found just that in a recent survey that showed 39 percent of Americans thought they had ideal heart health, yet 54 percent of those had been told they had either a heart disease risk factor or needed to make a lifestyle change to improve heart health, or both. Linda Alvarado, 54, of Houston, said she knows how hard — and important — the changes can be. After having a quadruple bypass at the age of 47, she improved her diet and exercise, losing 40 pounds. Recently though, with a new 40-minute commute, some of those diet and exercise commitments have been put aside.  “It’s really up to you,” Alvarado said.

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