Middle-aged male smokers with high blood pressure and raised cholesterol levels face dying about 10 years before healthier counterparts, a study warns.
The UK study looked at more than 19,000 civil servants aged 40-69 and traced what happened to them 38 years later.
It concluded that men with these three risk factors could expect a 10-year shorter life 50 years of age.
The British Heart Foundation said it was an important reminder for everyone over 40 to have a heart health check.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, was set up at in 1967-70 at the peak of the vascular disease epidemic in the UK.
Participants had their height, weight, blood pressure, lung function, cholesterol and blood glucose levels measured and completed a questionnaire about their previous medical history, smoking habits, employment grade and marital status.
Current smokers made up 42% of the men, 39% had high blood pressure and 51% had high cholesterol.
They were followed up nearly 40 years later in 2005 by which time 13,501 had died.