HealthDay News — According to a study published in JACC: Heart Failure, middle-aged adults who’ve avoided obesity, hypertension and diabetes are far less likely than others to develop heart failure in their later years.

John Wilkins, MD, assistant professor of medicine and preventive medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues analyzed data from four heart studies launched across the United States between 1948 and 1987. 

Through 2007 to 2008, the researchers tracked outcomes for 19,249 men and women whose heart health was assessed at age 45. The investigators followed another 23,915 whose heart status was determined at age 55.

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Heart failure developed in 1677 participants tested at 45, and in 2976 of those examined at 55. Men who were free of hypertension, diabetes and obesity at 45 went on to live free of heart failure almost 11 years longer than men who had all 3 conditions.

For women, the advantage was about 15 years. On average, men and women without any of those 3 heart risks lived 34.7 and 38.0 years longer, respectively, without developing heart failure. Similar trends were seen among those assessed at 55.

“Prevention of hypertension, obesity and diabetes by ages 45 years and 55 years may substantially prolong heart failure-free survival, decrease heart failure-related morbidity and reduce the public health impact of heart failure,” the authors write.


Ahmad FS, et al. “Hypertension, Obesity, Diabetes, And Heart Failure–Free Survival”. JACC: Heart Failure. 2016. 4(12): 911-919. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2016.08.001.

Wang TJ. “Living Without Heart Failure”. JACC: Heart Failure. 2016. 4(12): 920-922. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2016.10.003.

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