For women over 30, physical inactivity may be the single greatest contributor to heart disease risk.
The Evidence: Researchers followed 32,154 Australian women in three age groups: those born between 1973-78, 1946-51, and 1921-26. They the applied a math formula called population attributable risk (P.A.R.) that indicates the percentage reduction in diseases that would be achieved in a given population if exposure to a specific risk were eliminated.
The importance of the most common risk factors for heart disease – smoking, high blood pressure, physical activity, and excess weight – varies with age.
- For the population under 30, smoking is the greatest contributor to heart disease.In fact, stopping smoking would reduce the risk of heart disease in this group twice as effectively as reducing high body mass index.
- For women in their 70s, being physically active would lower the P.A.R. almost three times as much as stopping smoking, and…
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