In the past few decades, we’ve learned a lot about how habits like smoking and poor diet can lead to problems like heart disease, heart attack and stroke. But less than 2% of Americans meet the 7 criteria recommended for avoiding these cardiovascular problems, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Meeting six out of the seven criteria can lower your risk of heart-related death by 76% and cut your risk of death from any cause in half, compared to someone who meets one or fewer. In addition, meeting a greater number of these heart health metrics “appeared to be associated with lower risk for all-cancer mortality,” the researchers said.
Curious how you stack up in terms of heart-healthy habits? Click through for the 7 ways to lower your risk of heart problems (according to the American Heart Association) and how they’ve fluctuated over the past two decades. Interestingly, the study authors note that “the face of ideal cardiovascular health is a young, educated white woman.”