Public Release: 

Cardiovascular disease on the rise as fewer people achieve ideal cardiovascular health

Abstract 17357 (Hall A2, Poster M 2120)

American Heart Association

The number of people who have the ideal cardiovascular health score, as defined by the goals in the American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7, has decreased during the last 20 years, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2015.

There have also been increases in the proportions of people having precursors of cardiovascular disease, as well as in those having diagnosed cardiovascular disease.

The American Heart Association defines ideal cardiovascular health as meeting seven health metrics: eating a balanced diet, being active, managing your weight, eliminating tobacco smoke, and maintaining ideal levels of blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure; achieving these metrics has been associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease.

In this study, researchers studied the prevalence of the ideal cardiovascular health score among 3,460 adults, who were measured for the metrics from one to four times during 1990 to 2008 as part of the Framingham Heart Study.

They found:

  • The proportion of people with an ideal score decreased from 8.5 percent during the period 1991-1995 to 5.8 percent during 2005-2008. The drop was due to decreases in the number of people with ideal body mass index, blood pressure, glucose or cholesterol levels.

  • People whose health scores changed by at least 15 percent (for example, dropping from an ideal status on a health metric to intermediate or poor status) had 1.6-times higher odds of being diagnosed with a precursor of cardiovascular disease and a 1.2-times higher rate of being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, compared to those who kept their health scores high for the majority of the health metrics.

Researchers said their findings emphasize the importance of maintaining ideal cardiovascular health scores over a lifetime.

###

Note: Actual presentation is 2 p.m. ET, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015.

Additional Resources:

  • Hispanics and Heart Disease, Stroke
  • For more news from the AHA's Scientific Sessions 2015 follow us on Twitter @HeartNews # AHA15.

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: (214) 706-1173
AHA News Media Office, Nov. 7-11, 2015
at the Orange County Convention Center: (407) 685-5401
For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and strokeassociation.org
Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.