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 (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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