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Having No Risk Factors At Age 50 Greatly Improves Life Span and Diminishes Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Embargoed for Release:
February 6, 2006, 4:00 PM EST

New results from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) Framingham Heart Study show that compared with men and women who have two or more risk factors for heart disease at age 50, those with none live substantially longer and have dramatically lower risks of developing cardiovascular disease.

"Prediction of Lifetime Risk for Cardiovascular Disease by Risk Factor Burden at Age 50," will be published in the February 6 edition of Circulation.

Dr. Daniel Levy, director of the Framingham Heart Study, is available to comment on the study's findings. Compared with men and women who had 2 or more major risk factors, those with none lived an average of 11 (men) and 8 (women) years longer. The lifetime risk for developing cardiovascular disease associated with having 2 or more risk factors was 69 percent for men and 50 percent for women, versus risk associated with having no risk factors, 5.2 percent for men, 8.2 percent for women.

To schedule interviews, contact the NHLBI Communications Office at 301-496 4236.