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article imageSeven lifestyle changes can extend lifespan to age 90 or 100

By Kathleen Blanchard     Oct 22, 2011 in Health
Taking charge of health and well-being can help people live a decade or more longer, suggests a leading cardiologist. Dr. Clyde Yancy says seven simple lifestyle changes can also save billions in health care spending.
Yancy says remaining active, knowing your cholesterol numbers and keeping them within range, avoiding tobacco, controlling diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight, combined with a healthy diet, controlling blood pressure and staying active are the seven key elements that can extend quality lifespan to age 90 and even 100.
"Achieving these seven simple lifestyle factors gives people a 90 per cent chance of living to the age of 90 or 100, free of not only heart disease and stroke but from a number of other chronic illnesses including cancer," says Dr. Yancy.
Yancy, who is professor of medicine and chief of cardiology at the Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and past-president of the American Heart Association, will present his findings at the Stroke Foundation of Canada Lecture at the opening ceremonies of the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Vancouver, Sunday, October 23, 2011.
Heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, accounting for approximately 250,000 potential years of lost life.
Yancy says by following the 7 simple steps for a long life, “…we can compress life-threatening disease into the final stages of life and maintain quality of life for the longest possible time." He adds that acting now can reverse the impact of life-threatening disease by the year 2020.
The cost of heart disease and stroke in Canada is $20.9 billion every year, which include physician and hospital fees, lost wages and decreased work productivity.
In the U.S., the cost of treating heart disease could rise to $818 billion in 2030, warns Yancy, making prevention a primary focus.
Yancy says optimal health has been achieved by less than 10 percent of the Canadian population, and the time to act is “now”.
He says government policies are needed to limit salt in foods, provide access to green areas, educate the public about health and control tobacco.
"The opportunity for prevention is not an unrealistic expectation," says Dr. Yancy. "Over the past 40 years the rates of heart disease and stroke have steadily declined." The rate has declined in Canada by 70 per cent since the mid-1950s. In the last decade alone, the rate has declined by 25 per cent.
The seven steps for living a long and quality life – to age 90 or 100 – are achievable. If you want to find out your own risk for stroke and heart attack, visit heartandstroke.ca/risk and take a personalized assessment.
More about Dr Clyde Yancy, Healthy lifestyle, seven steps
 
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