About 2 million cases of heart attack, stroke and heart failure might be prevented each year if U.S. adults had high cardiovascular health as defined by a set of seven metrics, according to a new study.
Even modest improvements in the population’s overall heart health could make a significant dent in the number of cardiovascular disease cases.
These Life’s Simple 7 metrics, which the American Heart Association first identified in 2010, are smoking status, physical activity, weight, diet, blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure. Experts say they are the key risk factors people can improve through changes in lifestyle and behavior.
In the new study, researchers assigned scores to 11,696 people who participated in three national health and nutrition surveys from 2011 to 2016. The participants were rated on each metric with 0 for poor, 1 for intermediate or 2 for ideal. Their total scores determined whether they had high, moderate or low cardiovascular health.
The results showed that just 7.3% of the participants reached the highest health scores; 34.2% had a moderate score, and 58.5% had the lowest scores.
Separately, researchers used data from 30,477 people in seven community-based studies to estimate the rates of heart disease, stroke and heart failure cases that occur in each of the three health score categories.
“We wanted to put some kind of number on how many cardiovascular disease events we can prevent” if Americans improved their scores, said Joshua Bundy, an epidemiologist at Tulane University in New Orleans. He led the study, published Thursday in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
— Read on www.heart.org/en/news/2021/03/25/up-to-2-million-cardiovascular-events-could-be-averted-each-year-by-doing-this