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Seth Bilazarian, MD's insight:
AHA recently proposed a new metric of cardiovascular health comprised of 7 health behaviors and factors. State-level assessments have not been reported. Using 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data from all 50 states and District of Columbia. As data are self-reported, the AHA definition of cardiovascular health was modified using self-reported:
2. high cholesterol
4. current smoking status
5. weight classification
6. physical activity
7. dietary behavior
Ideal cardiovascular health was defined as meeting current guidelines or standards from each behavior or factor. The percentage of population in each state with ideal cardiovascular health and the adjusted prevalence ratio of ideal cardiovascular health in each state were estimated (adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity and levels of education).
In 2009, 3.3% reported as ideal cardiovascular health (n = 356,441). Large disparities of ideal cardiovascular health existed by age, sex, race/ethnicity and level of education - the elderly, males, non-Hispanic blacks and those with lower levels of education were less likely to have ideal cardiovascular health. The percentage of population with ideal cardiovascular health varied by state, ranging from 1.2% to 6.9%. In conclusion, the prevalence of ideal cardiovascular health is very low in the US adult population and varies substantially by state.