In an effort to pinpoint — and help alleviate — risk factors for chronic conditions, scientists around the world are conducting intense studies on lifestyle characteristics that may make people prone to develop certain diseases. In a recent study, researchers have found that levels of education may be linked to heart failure risk.
According to a Danish study recently published in the European Heart Journal, better educated individuals had half the risk of being admitted to hospital for heart failure than the least educated. This held true for both men and women.
"This study shows that deprivation, as measured by levels of education, should be regarded as a risk factor for chronic heart failure in line with what is already known for coronary heart disease," said Eva Prescott, professor of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation at Bispebjerg University Hospital.
However, the researchers are still unclear to what extent these results are explained by poor lifestyle choices that are more prevalent among the poor — including smoking, sedentary lifestyle and a high-calorie diet — as opposed to limited access to preventative medical care for individuals at lower socioeconomic levels.
That said, simple adjustments such as incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into one's diet can help prevent artery blockage and decrease cardiovascular disease risks, according to medical experts and healthcare providers.