CHICAGO (AP) — Here's a reality check for health-conscious baby boomers: Even among those in good shape, at least 1 in 3 will eventually develop heart problems or have a stroke.
The upside is that that will happen about seven years later than for their less healthy peers.
The findings come in an analysis of five major studies involving nearly 50,000 adults aged 45 and older who were followed for up to 50 years.
The best odds are in the healthiest adults — those who don't smoke, have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Still, among 55-year-olds in that category, about a third can expect to develop heart or other cardiovascular problems as they age.
Dr. Vincent Bufalino, a Chicago area cardiologist and spokesman for the American Heart Association, said the study is "a wake-up call that this disease is very prevalent in the United States and even if you're doing a good job, you're not immune."
The researchers estimated risks older people face for developing these ailments in their lifetime, or by their 80s or 90s. They also estimated how many years they'll live free of heart disease and related problems, depending on the most common risk factors.
Pooling follow-up data from the five analyzed studies, the researchers found that the healthiest 45-year-olds lived up to 14 years longer free of heart ailments than those with at least two risk factors. The healthiest 55-year-olds lived up to about seven years longer than their less healthy peers.
The study was published online Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association and released in connection with the American Heart Association conference meeting in Los Angeles. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute paid for the research.
The authors estimated higher lifetime risks than previous studies, but their analysis involved a broader range of ailments, including heart failure and strokes.
While prevalence of heart disease and related deaths have declined nationwide in recent years, more than 82 million Americans — roughly one-third — have some form of cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association.
Most people in the analysis had high blood pressure or at least one of the other risk factors.
The results shouldn't be discouraging, said lead author Dr. John Wilkins, an assistant professor of preventive medicine and cardiology at Northwestern University's medical school in Chicago. Maintaining an optimal lifestyle, by eating sensibly and staying active, is still the best way to live a long, healthy life, he said.
Heart disease remains the nation's leading cause of death, and the study reinforces the idea that "cardiovascular disease is part of the aging process," said Cleveland Clinic heart specialist Dr. David Frid, who was not involved in the research. Bodies wear out, "and ultimately, just exposure to living is going to cause people to develop some of these underlying problems," Frid said.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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