Importance of Heart Health in Your Youth

Developing heart disease late in life may not be as serious a risk.
2:11 | 01/28/12

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Transcript for Importance of Heart Health in Your Youth
This was really encouraging new research from northwestern university and a new -- saying you can turn your health around in middle age actually changing your body's road -- For years to come up here's ABC's -- Rivera tonight. -- -- Michael board -- it's like millions of Americans who reached authorities. And are surprised to find themselves at risk for heart disease. I -- beautiful Italian wife who was a wonderful cook who just a little -- -- here -- -- where I was 240 pound ahead elevated cholesterol. But a new study shows a simple checklist can be a strong predictor of your -- help. Reaching middle age without developing certain risk factors means you are much less likely to ever have a heart attack or stroke. Do you have high blood pressure high cholesterol are -- smoke work do you have diabetes. Your middle aged with none of these risk factors you have almost no chance of heart attack or stroke. One risk factor and your chances jumped to over 30% two or more and the risk increases to 50%. The good news about this research is even though it's somewhat of a crystal ball we need to keep in mind that we can change that risk. By changing our risk factors doctors say it's never too late to improve your heart health. Even with a family history of heart disease all of these risks can be reduced with a healthy lifestyle. If we can control our portion sizes -- our -- better we can reduce. Three of the major risk factors for heart disease but the earlier you Begin the better advice Michael has taken to heart. He's lost forty pounds got -- his cholesterol under control and is encouraging his 22 year old son to do the same. So hopefully he'll have learned a lesson from from my experience. Now Michael says it took him a year to -- all that weight now both men and women can benefit from this kind of checklist. And no matter how old you are doctors encourage everyone to find out exactly what their risk level says. In this case David knowledge truly is -- are huge kudos to Michael it proves that. Amazing power for all of us -- Middle -- turn things around absolutely just take a brisk walk every day -- -- -- -- -- great to have you with -- on the -- tonight.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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