Abstract 12250: Maintaining Low Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Risk Profile from Young Adulthood to Middle Age by Healthy Lifestyle: The CARDIA Study
Background: Low CVD risk profile (untreated cholesterol < 200 mg/dl, untreated blood pressure < 120/80 mmHg, never smoking, no diabetes and no myocardial infarction) in middle-age adults has been shown to be associated with lower mortality and morbidity, higher quality of life, and lower Medicare charges in older age. Few middle age adults have a low risk profile though it is very common in young people. The purpose of the study is to examine whether adopting a healthy lifestyle from young adulthood to middle age can lead to a low CVD risk profile in middle age.
Methods: CARDIA is a multi-center longitudinal study sponsored by the NHLBI. The study sample consisted of 2498 black and white participants aged 18 to 30 at baseline (1985) with complete exam data at Year 0, 7 and 20. The healthy lifestyle factors (HLF) based on the data from Year 0, 7 and 20 are: 1) Average BMI < 25kg/m2, 2) Average alcohol intake ranges 0 to 15 g/day for women and 0 to 30g/day for men, 3) Highest 40% on a score based on higher average intake of potassium, calcium and fiber and lower intake of saturated fat, 4) Average physical activity score > 60th percentile of the race and sex specific distribution, and 5) Never smoking. Association of HLF through young adulthood with prevalence of low CVD risk profile at Year 20 was assessed.
Results: The age-, sex- and race-adjusted prevalence of low CVD risk profile at Year 20 (middle age) were 5.6%, 17.0%, 30.1%, 37.6% and 60.2% for people with 0 or 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 HLF through young adulthood, respectively (p-trend <0.0001). Similar graded relationships were also observed for men only, women only, black only and white only (all p-trend<0.0001).
Conclusions: A low CVD risk profile can be effectively achieved in middle age by maintaining a healthy lifestyle through young adulthood. To maximize the benefit of low CVD risk profile in middle age and older adults, more emphasis should be devoted to encourage a healthy lifestyle starting from young ages.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.