People who take pills for vascular health are more likely to overeat and idle

The health of the heart and blood vessels directly depends on the lifestyle: nutrition, physical activity, rejection of bad habits. When people are informed of an individual's high risk of developing atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes, they usually begin to transform their lifestyle, stick to a diet, and move more. However, a study conducted at the University of Turku (Finland) showed that after prescribing medications to maintain vascular health, many patients give up healthy habits and shift responsibility to pills. 

The study involved more than 40 thousand people who were followed for 13 years (2000-2013), the average age at the beginning of the observation was 51 years, and no disorders of the cardiovascular system were detected. 

Participants regularly filled out questionnaires and answered questions related to lifestyle: physical activity, nutrition, etc., - their BMI (body mass index) was also measured. Also, the organizers of the study had access to data on the prescription of drugs for lowering cholesterol and regulating blood pressure.

By the end of the follow-up period, it was found that people who started taking medications were changing their lifestyle: on the one hand, these participants reduced their alcohol consumption and were 26% more likely to quit smoking, while on the other hand, they were more likely to give up physical activity, and the risk of obesity increased by 82%. Experts concluded that prescribing drugs is a wake-up call for patients that motivates them to quit smoking and drink alcohol, but many are beginning to shift responsibility for their health to pills and allow themselves to overeat and move less. 

Commenting on the results, the scientists noted: people who have started taking medications to prevent heart disease or prevent its progression at an early stage should be informed and encouraged to follow their diet and move more. Even the most effective tablets are difficult to cope with the damage from physical inactivity and obesity. 

Feb. 6, 2020, 10:54 a.m.

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