The Health Breakthroughs that Mattered in 2016

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Heart Disease: DNA Isn’t Destiny
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Chris Cross / Getty Images5/10

Heart Disease: DNA Isn’t Destiny

Even if heart disease runs in your family, you’re not automatically destined to die young. If you’re also a pizza-chowing, booze-swilling couch potato, then all bets are off. But if you eat right, exercise, stay slim, limit alcohol, and don’t smoke, your healthy lifestyle should offset genetic predisposition. A study of 55,000 adults published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that those with high genetic risk of coronary heart disease who also led a semi-healthy lifestyle cut their odds of a heart attack in half. “This shows you really do have control over your health,” says lead researcher Dr. Sekar Kathiresan.

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