Partnerships for Promoting Prevention
In an elegant analysis from the Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities Study, Rasmussen-Torvik and colleagues demonstrate that a higher degree of adherence to the American Heart Association seven health and behavior factors recommended for prevention of cardiovascular disease was also related to substantially reduced incidence of cancer, over a 17-19 year follow-up1. As one might expect, the strongest common risk factor for these two leading causes of death is smoking. Although it is more strongly associated with lung cancer (in terms of relative risk) than with cardiovascular disease, smoking causes more deaths from cardiovascular disease. However, even after excluding smoking from the seven factors, those meeting the goals for 5-6 of these health metrics had a significant 25% lower risk of cancer compared to those who met none of the goals.
- Received February 19, 2013.
- Accepted February 21, 2013.