August 21, 2012
In this June 1, 2012 file photo, Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. Paul Ryan's fastidious commitment to fitness and healthy living can be traced to 1986. That's when he found his father dead of a heart attack in the family's Wisconsin home, becoming the latest in a long line of men in the family to die prematurely. Today, Ryan is 42. He boasts of body fat between just 6 and 8 percent. He doesn't eat sweets _ even on his birthday. He holds early morning work outs in the House gym for colleagues. And he favors a high-intensity workout called P90X.
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A new study of 4 million people — the largest ever on heart risks that run in families — found that having a close relative die young of cardiovascular disease doubles a person's odds of developing it by age 50. This risk was independent of other factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, and was even higher if more than one close family member had died young.