Healthy Habits of Young Women Lead to Long-Term Health Benefits — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
January 6, 2015

Healthy Habits of Young Women Lead to Long-Term Health Benefits

By Larry Husten

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH

Young women with healthy habits are less likely to develop coronary heart disease or cardiovascular risk factors as they age, according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 88,000 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study II who were aged 27 to 44 at baseline. Women who met all six criteria for a healthy lifestyle — nonsmoker, normal BMI, physical activity of at least 2.5 hours weekly, television viewing of 7 hours or less weekly, moderate alcohol consumption, and a healthy diet — had almost no heart disease and low rates of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia after 20 years' follow-up.

Compared with women who met none of the criteria, those meeting all six had a 92% reduction in risk for coronary heart disease and a 66% reduction in CV risk factors. All criteria except television viewing were significantly and independently associated with improved outcomes. Of note, only about 5% of study participants met all six criteria.

Reader Comments (1)

Margaret Newton, MD Physician, Geriatrics, WISCONSIN AND VEMONT

I am no surprised by the result of the study.

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