HealthDay News – A combination of healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption, no smoking, being physically active, and having no abnormal adiposity may prevent four out of five myocardial infarctions (MI) in male patients, indicated results from a study published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“Adherence to a combination of healthy dietary and lifestyle practices may have an impressive impact on the primary prevention of MI,” noted Agneta Åkesson, PhD, of the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues.

To examine the benefit of combining a low-risk diet with healthy lifestyle practices on incidence of MI in male patients, the investigators studied medical records and surveys of more than 20,700 Swedish men aged 45 to 79 years in 1997. At the time, the patients had no history of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

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During 11 years of follow-up, the scientists tracked 1,361 incident cases of MI. The low-risk dietary choice combined with moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a relative risk of 0.65, compared with patients who did not abide by these low-risk choices.

The 1% of patients in the study group who practiced all five healthy behaviors had a relative risk of 0.14, compared with those who ate poorly, were overweight, exercised too little, smoked, and drank too much alcohol.

All five healthy behaviors together could prevent 79% of first MI events in men, concluded the researchers.


  1. Åkesson A et al. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2014; doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2014.06.1190