Abstract 13056: Association of Health Behaviors with Ideal Cardiovascular Health Factors in Adults: Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003–2006)
Background: The AHA 2020 Strategic Impact Goals recommend adherence to optimal health behaviors; however, it is unclear whether the prevalence of adherence to these health behaviors or the association between these health behaviors and ideal levels of cardiovascular (CV) health factors varies across age groups.
Methods: We included 6646 individuals, representing approximately 171 million US adults, from the 2003–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES). Participants were stratified by young age (20–39 yrs), middle age (40–59 yrs), and older age (60–79 yrs). Ideal CV health factors were defined as having all of the following traits: untreated systolic/diastolic BP <120/<80 mmHg, untreated total cholesterol < 200 mg/dL, and no history of diabetes or CVD. Health behaviors examined included body mass index (BMI, kg/m2), and NHANES questionnaire assessment of physical activity, smoking, and dietary intake. Diet quality was assessed using tertiles of the Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI).
Results: Prevalence of recommended levels of physical activity, smoking, and BMI was lower, and prevalence of a diet in the highest tertile of the HEI was higher across increasing age groups. Of the health behaviors examined, having a BMI < 25.0 and reporting a diet consistent with a high HEI (highest tertile) were most consistently associated with having ideal CV health factors in all age groups, even after adjustment for age, sex, race, and education (Table 1).
Conclusion: Although adherence to optimal levels of physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight, and abstinence from smoking were most common at young age, older adults more frequently consumed a diet recommended for the maintenance of ideal CV health. Additionally, public health efforts aimed at the prevention and reduction of obesity prevalence and improvement in diet may help individuals achieve/maintain ideal CV health factors across all age groups.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.