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Not age or race, but risk factors determine ‘cardiovascular destiny’
January 25th, 2012
05:01 PM ET

Not age or race, but risk factors determine ‘cardiovascular destiny’

It’s well documented that certain factors increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Most people know the big ones - high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and diabetes.  But age, gender and ethnicity also have been thought to play a role. 

Now a report published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine shows that these risk factors alone are responsible for your cardiovascular destiny, and that having just one can up your risk considerably.

Study authors analyzed the data from 18 studies involving more than 250,000 men and women from different ethnic backgrounds whose risk factors were measured at age 45, 55, 65 and 75.  This allowed the authors to determine the risk of dying from heart attack or stroke over the course of a lifetime, rather than just 5 to 10 years in the future as has been previously studied.

What the researchers found can be boiled down to this:
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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