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Exercise, both physical and mental, has beneficial effects on people as they grow older.

Adopting healthful habits can significantly alter the course of aging, even if you don't start until you are middle-aged or older, growing research suggests.

As more people live into their 80s, 90s and beyond, researchers are increasingly asking what it takes not just to survive but also to thrive in later years. Here is Consumer Reports' guide to successful aging.

July 28, 2009

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death as people age. One of the chief contributing factors remains high levels of blood fats. As society has become aware of this, there has been a slight decrease in blood cholesterol levels in the U.S. since the late 1980s, however, consumption of saturated and trans fats remains above recommended levels. Only one-quarter of U.S. adults with high cholesterol levels have it under control. About 24 million U.S. adults are on cholesterol lowering medications. Therefore controlling dietary fat intake is extremely important, but changing society’s nutrition-related behaviors is a major challenge.

 

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