Healthy Lifestyle and the Risk of Coronary Disease

Research examining the relationship between genetic risk and coronary events has found that those with high genetic risk had a 91% higher risk of coronary events compared to those with low genetic risk. Additionally, they found that a favorable lifestyle was associated with a lower risk of coronary events as compared to an unfavorable lifestyle.  This finding was independent of the genetic risk of the individual.  The four healthy lifestyle factors outlined were not currently smoking, no obesity (BMI <31), physical activity at least once per week, and eating a healthy diet.  A “favorable lifestyle” was defined as having three or four of the healthy lifestyle factors while an “unfavorable lifestyle” was defined as having zero or one of the healthy lifestyle factors.

The effects of a healthy lifestyle for those with low, intermediate, and high genetic risk of a coronary event.

The effects of a healthy lifestyle for those with low, intermediate, and high genetic risk of a coronary event.

One of the significant findings from this study was the impact of a favorable lifestyle, particularly for those with high genetic risk.  They found that high genetic risk individuals who adopt a favorable lifestyle had a 46% lower risk of coronary events than if they had an unfavorable lifestyle.  This illustrates the impact that healthy lifestyle factors have on reducing the risk of coronary events.  Intensive lifestyle modifications should be targeted towards those at a high genetic risk. The Healthy Lifestyle Center can help by providing consultations specific to nutrition and exercise. Additionally, we can provide support for maintains a healthy lifestyle and reducing the risk of coronary events.

By Matt Lewandowski

 

Sources:  Khera et al., (2016).  Genetic risk, adherence to a healthy lifestyle, and coronary disease.  The New England Journal of Medicine, 375(24), 2349-2358.