7 Steps Toward a Healthy Heart (and Long Life)

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Want an "ideal" heart? The American Heart Association defines the most important factors.

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(Jeffrey MacMillan for USN&WR)

More than 1 in 3 Americans have at least one type of cardiovascular disease—including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, heart failure, or stroke. And yet many of them believe that their heart health is "ideal." In fact, 4 in 10 Americans surveyed say their heart health is ideal even though they ignore their risk factors for heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. More than half of those who reported having ideal heart health admit that a health professional has told them in the past that they have a risk factor for heart disease or that they should change their lifestyle in order to improve their health. Whether you believe your heart is in great shape or not, here are the AHA's seven steps to take early in life to ward off cardiovascular disease.

Next: Don't smoke.

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