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Home Industry News Healthy lifestyles ‘can reduce genetic risk of heart attack’

Healthy lifestyles ‘can reduce genetic risk of heart attack’

16th November 2016

Taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle can help to reduce the risk of heart attack among people who are genetically predisposed to cardiovascular problems.

This is according to a study led by Massachusetts General Hospital, which indicated that steps such as not smoking, avoiding excess weight and getting regular exercise can reduce the probability of a heart attack or similar event by half among people who are at high genetic risk.

For this study, the team analysed genetic and clinical data from more than 55,000 participants in four large-scale studies, which followed participants for up to 20 years.

Subjects were assigned a genetic risk score based on factors such as family history and elevated LDL cholesterol, with the presence of lifestyle factors significantly altering the risk of coronary events within each genetic risk category.

Dr Sekar Kathiresan, director of the Center for Human Genetic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, said: "Many individuals – both physicians and members of the general public – have looked on genetic risk as unavoidable, but for heart attack that does not appear to be the case."

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