Cardiovascular disease

Preventing Cardiovascular Disease—It’s In Your Power

Cardiovascular disease afflicts or kills as many as one in two adults in the United States and other developed countries. (1) But cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attacks, strokes, and other conditions, can be largely prevented by making healthy choices.

  • Compelling data from the Nurses’ Health Study show that women who followed a healthy lifestyle pattern were 80% less likely to develop coronary artery disease over a 14-year period compared to all other women in the study. (2)
  • In a companion study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, men also reaped similar benefits from making healthy choices. (3)
  • A healthy lifestyle pattern may prevent more than 50% of ischemic strokes, (4) 80% of sudden cardiac deaths (5) and 75% of all deaths due to cardiovascular disease. (6)

What’s a “healthy lifestyle pattern?”

Learn how you can assess your risk for developing cardiovascular disease, and what you can do to lower it – or keep it low if you’re already at lower risk.


1. Go, A.S., et al., Heart disease and stroke statistics–2013 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 2013. 127(1): p. e6-e245.

2. Stampfer, M.J., et al., Primary prevention of coronary heart disease in women through diet and lifestyle. N Engl J Med, 2000. 343(1): p. 16-22.

3. Chiuve, S.E., et al., Healthy lifestyle factors in the primary prevention of coronary heart disease among men: benefits among users and nonusers of lipid-lowering and antihypertensive medications. Circulation, 2006. 114(2): p. 160-7.

4. Chiuve, S.E., et al., Primary prevention of stroke by healthy lifestyle Circulation, 2008. 118: p. 947-954.

5. Chiuve, S.E., et al., Adherence to a low-risk, healthy lifestyle and risk of sudden cardiac death among women. JAMA, 2011. 306(1): p. 62-9.

6. van Dam, R.M., et al., Combined impact of lifestyle factors on mortality: prospective cohort study in US women. BMJ, 2008. 337: p. a1440.

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