Numerous studies have considered the implications of multiple risk factors on mortality and specific diseases and found that their impact on cardiovascular health is greater than just additive. In 2010, the American Heart Association (AHA) set national goals for cardiovascular health promotion according to 7 behaviors and metrics that define cardiovascular health:

  1. Never smoked or quit more than one year ago
  2. Body mass index no greater than 25 kg/m2
  3. Physical activity of at least 150 minutes (moderate intensity) or 75 minutes (vigorous intensity) each week
  4. Four to five key components of a healthy diet consistent with current AHA guidelines:
  • fruits and vegetables: at least 4.5 cups per day
  • fish (preferably oily): at least two 3.5-oz servings per week
  • fiber-rich whole grains (1.1 g fiber per 10 g carbohydrate): at least three 1-oz–equivalent servings per day
  • sodium: less than 1500 mg per day
  • sugar-sweetened beverages: no more than 450 kcal (36 oz.) per week
  • saturated fat: less than 7% of total energy intake
  • nuts, legumes, and seeds: at least four servings per week
  • processed meats: no more than two servings per week
  1. Total cholesterol: less than 200 mg/dL
  2. Blood pressure: less than 120/80 mm Hg
  3. Fasting blood glucose: less than 100 mg/dL

Studies have considered how well Americans are meeting the American Heart Association’s seven components of good cardiovascular (CV) health. Three separate studies found that fewer than 1% of study participants met all seven metrics. In one of the studies, participants who met none or only one of the cardiovascular health metrics, mortality risk was 14.8 deaths per 1000 person-years from all causes— nearly three times higher than the mortality rate of 5.4 per 1000 person-years among those who met six or seven metrics.

This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information.  I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in the book or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Wellness with a Lifestyle Checklist. References for most of the health related information in this blog can be found in the book, The Building Blocks of Health now available on Amazon at Copyright 2020 by J. Joseph Speidel.