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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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