AHA Healthy Heart Plan also Cuts Cancer Risk

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A new study shows that following seven simple steps for heart health can cut your cancer risk in half.

The American Heart Association developed the seven steps three years ago with the goal of reducing deaths from heart attack and stroke by 20 percent by 2020.

But researchers at the Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine said they suspected the plan would also be useful in warding off cancer. After studying more than 13,000 patients over 20 years, their hunch was confirmed.

"We just wanted to test that hypothesis," Northwestern University's professor Laura Rasmussen-Torvik told ABC News. "We hoped the information would provide extra motivation for the public to check out Life's Simple 7."

The seven steps are:

  • Get active
  • Control cholesterol
  • Eat better
  • Manage blood pressure
  • Lose weight
  • Reduce blood sugar
  • Stop smoking

Rasmussen-Torvik said she hoped the prospect of avoiding the two deadly diseases would be ample incentive for patients to follow the plan.

"Any little added encouragement for people to adopt these recommendations is great," she said.

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