Lifestyle key to preventing most MIs in postmenopausal women

December 11, 2007

Most heart attacks in women can be prevented with a combination of healthy diet and other heart-healthy lifestyle behaviors, researchers report in the Oct. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Most heart attacks in women can be prevented with a combination of healthy diet and other heart-healthy lifestyle behaviors, researchers report in the Oct. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Agneta Akesson, PhD, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues studied 24,444 postmenopausal women who were free of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes at baseline in late 1997 and followed them for an average of 6.2 years, during which there were 308 cases of primary myocardial infarction (MI).

The researchers found that women who ate a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fish, and legumes, and had a moderate alcohol intake of 5 g or less per day-in combination with not smoking, regular exercise, and maintaining a lean body mass-had a 92% decreased risk of MI, compared with women who had no low-risk diet and lifestyle factors.

Åkesson A, Weismayer C, Newby PK, et al. Combined effect of low-risk dietary and lifestyle behaviors in primary prevention of myocardial infarction in women. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167:2122-2127.