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6 Heart Health Mistakes You Need To Stop Making Before You Turn 40

Prevention Logo By Markham Heid of Prevention | Slide 1 of 7

6 Heart Health Mistakes You Need To Stop Making Before You Turn 40

Plus, how to tweak your routine to live a longer, healthier life.

Most of us can skate through our first four decades of life without paying a significant health penalty for our vices—assuming those vices are modest and our genes are good. But after age 40, our bad behaviors start to catch up with us, especially when it comes to our cardiovascular health.

“A number of risk factors for heart disease really start to go up in [a person’s] 40s,” says Deepak Bhatt, MD, executive director of interventional cardiovascular programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “The risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes”—pretty much all the major drivers of heart trouble—“all start to go up substantially.”

But there is a silver lining: If you're still relatively young, it’s not too late to adopt heart-healthy ways, Dr. Bhatt says. And even if you’re already in your 40s, 50s, or 60s ditching some not-so-healthy habits can pay dividends down the road, he says. Here are six things you should make an effort to change now to ensure your heart stays healthy for decades to come.

© JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

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