Seven simple lifestyle steps may decrease risk of blood clots

Blood clots in the legs or lungs (deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism) kill an American about every 5 minutes. Adopting seven simple lifestyle steps could help reduce your risk of these potentially deadly blood clots, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2013 Scientific Sessions.

In a large, long-term study, researchers followed 30,239 adults who were 45 years or older for 4.6 years. Researchers rated participants' heart health using the seven health indicators from the Life's Simple 7. They include being physically active, avoiding smoking, following a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy , and controlling blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol. They then compared the incidence of blood clots among those whose heart health rated as inadequate, average and optimum.

Among participants with optimum health, the risk of blood clots was 44 percent lower than those with inadequate health. Those with average health had a 38 percent lower risk. Maintaining ideal levels of physical activity and body mass index were the most significant lifestyle changes related to lower risk of blood clots.

More information: Actual presentation is 5:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, May 2, 2013.

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