In December 2018 researchers from Spain and the USA published the results of their study to assess the relationship between a healthy lifestyle and risk of cardiovascular disease. 19,336 individuals with no evidence of cardiovascular disease were followed up for an average period of 10 years. A Healthy Lifestyle Score, ranging from 0-10, was calculated for each individual using the following parameters: never smoking, moderate to high physical activity (more than 20 MET hours/week), Mediterranean diet (more than 4/8 adherence points), lower body mass index, moderate alcohol consumption (women 0.1-5.0 g/day; men 0.1-10.0 g/day), low television exposure (less than 2 hours per day), no binge drinking (less than 5 alcoholic drinks at any time), taking a short afternoon nap (less than 30 minutes per day), meeting up with friends (more than 1 hour per day), and working at least a 40 hour week. During the follow up period 140 cases of cardiovascular disease were diagnosed. The Healthy Lifestyle Score was then assessed against incidence of cardiovascular disease. Results showed that those individuals who were in the category with the highest Healthy Lifestyle Score (7-10 points) had a 78% reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease when compared to those in the lowest category (0-3 points). It was also noted that each healthy habit was individually associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Díaz-Gutiérrez J et al. Association Between a Healthy Lifestyle Score and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in the SUN Cohort. Rev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed). 2018 Dec;71(12):1001-1009