Dr. Clyde Yancy of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, who is to deliver the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Lecture at the opening ceremonies of the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Vancouver Sunday, said following his guidelines can greatly enhance people's odds of achieving longevity.
"By following these steps, we can compress life-threatening disease into the final stages of life and maintain quality of life for the longest possible time," Yancy said in a statement.
Yancy recommends to:
-- Get active. Inactivity can shave almost four years off a person's expected lifespan.
-- Know and control cholesterol levels.
-- Follow a healthy diet.
-- Know and control blood pressure, which can cut the risk of stroke by up to 40 percent and the risk of heart attack by up to 25 percent.
-- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Being obese can reduce your life span by almost four years.
-- Manage diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, narrowing of the arteries, coronary artery disease and stroke, particularly if your blood-sugar levels are poorly controlled.
-- Stay away from tobacco. As soon as you become smoke-free, your risk of heart disease and stroke begins to decrease.
Canadians can take a personalized My Heart&Stroke Risk Assessment at heartandstroke.ca/risk.