Exercise among best ways to reduce heart disease, researchers say

COLUMBUS, Ohio (KABC) -- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S., killing 600,000 Americans every year.

But there are ways to prevent this dangerous health threat.

Researchers found that men and women with the highest aerobic fitness levels cut their chances of heart disease by half, even if they had genetic markers for the condition.

In another study, scientists from Ohio State found that vitamin D-3, which is made by the body when it's exposed to the sun, can restore damage caused by high blood pressure, diabetes and clogged arteries.

It also reduces the risk of heart attack.

"Untreated heart failure leads to patients feeling progressively more and more tired, short of breath with activity, ultimately short of breath at rest, laying in bed, unable to sleep and it is a fatal condition," OSU Wexner Medical Center's Dr. Sitaramesh Emani said.

Other heart-healthy habits include stopping smoking and simply relaxing.

After just one year of quitting smoking, excess risk of heart disease is reduced by 80 percent.

Chronic stress releases adrenaline that causes heart rates and blood pressure to rise, which could damage artery walls.

Take care of your heart so your heart can take care of you.
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