That’s what the guys at Harvard Health calculate anyway. Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is an ancient Greek term: athere is the Greek word for "forget it," while sclerosis means "you’re screwed." (Actually athere is Greek for "porridge" and sclerosis means "hardening." So, at 50 you get hardened porridge? Go figure.) It's the leading cause of death in the United States, killing, on average, one person every minute.
But atherosclerosis isn’t just for old guys. It can start in your teen years. Through puberty, into your twenties, your risk for heart disease goes up. Studies show kids as young as 11 are beginning to show signs of the problem, apparently from secondhand smoke!
And now, the good news. There is no good news. For anyone older than me, anyway. For you younger folks? You still may have a chance. There’re six aspects of your lifestyle you can work on to lower your risk of coronary artery disease to nearly zero.
Lower your overall cholesterol
Raise your good cholesterol (HDL)
Keep your blood pressure normal
Keep diabetes in check
Watch your weight
Doctors say if you young whippersnappers do those six things you'll have only a 5% risk of a heart attack by the time you're 95 years old, adding an average of 11 years to your life.
The boys at Harvard Medical School tell you all about it here:
Now you may say life's no fun without Twinkies, Marlboros, and lots and lots of bacon. That's your choice. Don't say I didn't warn you... Now get off my lawn!