Emory University researchers analyzed data from 2009 to 2010.
They found the number of people dying from cardiovascular disease could be cut by as much as 50 percent if modifiable risk factors were completely eliminated.
Dr. David Frid is a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic.
"I think we have a big ways to go from a public health perspective," he said. "I think that we can tell people that they have risks, but then on an individual basis people have to decide whether they are willing to change those risks."
The top five leading preventable risk factors for heart disease are:
-High blood pressure.
Researchers say despite the gains we've made in the battle against heart disease, more needs to be done.
They're recommending more aggressive policies and programs to reduce the risk of death from heart disease.
Dr. Frid agrees.
Even if you just take on one issue - for example, cut back on sodium to reduce high blood pressure.
The whole study is published online in the journal "Annals of Internal Medicine."