Abstract P117: County Level Cardiovascular Health in the United States
Background: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, so improving cardiovascular health (CVH) is a key population health goal. As part of public health efforts to achieve this, the American Heart Association recently developed a comprehensive CVH metric that incorporates smoking, body mass index, physical activity, diet, cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose. The objectives of the current study were to measure CVH in all US counties and identify key socioeconomic determinants of county-level CVH.
Methods: Data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used to determine calculate CVH for each county in 2009. Federal Information Processing Standards codes were used to obtain scores for counties with a sample size of 15 or more; 62% (1948 of 3142) of United States counties had available data . The main outcomes were age-standardized mean CVH score and percentage of poor or ideal health. Data on county-level socioeconomic indicators were abstracted from the Area Resource File.
Results and Conclusions: Overall, 18% of the population had poor CVH, 77% had intermediate, and 5% had ideal. Between counties the average overall CVH varied from 2.13 to 4.80, the percentage of ideal health varied from 0% to 46%, and the percentage of poor health varied from 1% to 76%. Counties with the poorest health were in the Midwest and Southern regions. There is a moderate positive relationship between mean CVH and per capita income (r=0.355) and a weak positive relationship between mean CVH and percent urban population (r=0.245). In conclusion, there are few counties with a substantial percentage of their population with ideal health, there is a wide range of cardiovascular health status within the United States, and there is some association of increasing CVH with increasing income and urbanization.
Author Disclosures: C.S. Pilkerton: None. T.K. Bias: None. S.J. Frisbee: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.