A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found making healthy choices — such as eating well, regularly exercising and not smoking — may offset genetic predispositions to heart disease.

One in every four deaths is due to heart disease, and while unhealthy lifestyle decisions may put you at higher risk for the disease, genetic factors, which many people feel are out of their control, “have a huge impact on people’s chances of dying of heart disease,” according to this New York Times article.

However, the new study — which used data from four different studies involving 55,685 participants — suggests that, for genetically predisposed individuals, adopting a “favorable lifestyle” can lower your risk of heart disease by nearly 50% compared to those who made unhealthy decisions.

The study defined a healthy lifestyle as “no current smoking, no obesity, regular physical activity,” and a healthier diet, including consuming more vegetables and whole grains and avoiding processed meats and sugary drinks.

For more about the study, read the New York Times article here.

Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com