Relation Between Modifiable Lifestyle Factors and Lifetime Risk of Heart Failure

JAMA. 2009 Jul 22;302(4):394-400. doi: 10.1001/jama.2009.1062.

Abstract

Context: The lifetime risk of heart failure at age 40 years is approximately 1 in 5 in the general population; however, little is known about the association between modifiable lifestyle factors and the remaining lifetime risk of heart failure.

Objective: To examine the association between modifiable lifestyle factors and the lifetime risk of heart failure in a large cohort of men.

Design, setting, and participants: Prospective cohort study using data from 20,900 men (mean age at baseline, 53.6 years) from the Physicians' Health Study I (1982-2008) who were apparently healthy at baseline. Six modifiable lifestyle factors were assessed: body weight, smoking, exercise, alcohol intake, consumption of breakfast cereals, and consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Main outcome measure: Lifetime risk of heart failure.

Results: During a mean follow-up of 22.4 years, 1200 men developed heart failure. Overall, the lifetime risk of heart failure was 13.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 12.9%-14.7%) at age 40 years. Lifetime risk remained constant in men who survived free of heart failure through age 70 years and reached 10.6% (95% CI, 9.4%-11.7%) at age 80 years. Lifetime risk of heart failure was higher in men with hypertension than in those without hypertension. Healthy lifestyle habits (normal body weight, not smoking, regular exercise, moderate alcohol intake, consumption of breakfast cereals, and consumption of fruits and vegetables) were individually and jointly associated with a lower lifetime risk of heart failure, with the highest risk in men adhering to none of the 6 lifestyle factors (21.2%; 95% CI, 16.8%-25.6%) and the lowest risk in men adhering to 4 or more desirable factors (10.1%; 95% CI, 7.9%-12.3%).

Conclusion: In this cohort of apparently healthy men, adherence to healthy lifestyle factors is associated with a lower lifetime risk of heart failure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Behavior*
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk