Study finds that only 19.6% of US adults have high cardiovascular health, whereas 62.5% have moderate health and 17.9% have low.
A new study found that approximately 80% of people in the United States have low to moderate cardiovascular health, based on the American Heart Association (AHA)’s new Life’s Essential 8 checklist, according to Circulation, an AHA peer-reviewed journal.
Life’s Essential 8 metrics were incorporated into the AHA My Life Check tool to determine a cardiovascular health score based on 8 essential components for ideal heart and brain health: diet, physical activity, nicotine exposure, sleep duration, body mass index, blood lipids, blood glucose, and blood pressure.
The new checklist is an update from the previous Life’s Simple 7, which did not include sleep health, and includes more sensitive metrics that are catered to differences among groups of people.
For adults, overall cardiovascular health is calculated by summing the scores for each of the 8 metrics together and dividing the total by 8, which helps provide a Life’s Essential 8 score ranging from 0-100. Overall scores below a 50 indicate “low” cardiovascular health, 50-79 is considered “moderate” and scores of 80 and above indicate “high” cardiovascular health.
The analysis offered an array of important information for health care providers, such as:
"These data represent the first look at the cardiovascular health of the US population using the AHA's new Life’s Essential 8 scoring algorithm,” said study lead Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScM, FAHA, president of the AHA, and chair of the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, in the press release.
“Overall, the cardiovascular health of the US population is suboptimal, and we see important differences across age and sociodemographic groups. Analyses like this can help policy makers, communities, clinicians and the public to understand the opportunities to intervene to improve and maintain optimal cardiovascular health across the life course.”
Only 1 in 5 people in the US has optimal heart health. American Heart Association. June 29, 2022. Accessed June 29, 2022. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/only-1-in-5-people-in-the-u-s-has-optimal-heart-health