Abstract MP62: Age and Gender Differences in Cardiovascular Health in a Rural Cohort of Children and Adults
BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and, despite advances in treatment modalities, the increasing prevalence of risk factors, particularly lifestyle-based risk factors, has led to a concern for future increased societal burden of cardiovascular disease. This has also highlighted the need for an emphasis on population approaches to the promotion and support of cardiovascular health. To this end, the American Heart Association recently developed a comprehensive cardiovascular health index (CVHI) incorporating behavioral and biological factors. OBJECTIVE: The objective of the current study was to assess CVHI in a large cohort of children and adults and assess how CVHI changes with increasing age and between genders. METHODS: We used data from the C8 Health Project to perform a secondary data analysis consisting of a final sample of 51,652 adults (≥20 years old) and 9624 children (<19 years of age) after exclusions and incomplete data. The CVHI as developed by the AHA was adapted to fit the data and questions available in this cohort. Most notably, dietary quality was excluded and so the final score has a denominator of 6 (vs. 7 as originally published by the AHA). RESULTS: Overall, 40.6% of children and 9.8% of adults had ideal cardiovascular health. In this cohort, both children and adults were least likely to have ideal exercise (<15% for both), and most likely to have ideal tobacco use, blood pressure, and blood glucose. Significant gender-based differences were observed: for all component scores except exercise, girls/women were more likely to be classified as ideal compared to boys/men. For overall classification, girls and boys were similar (40.5% ideal vs. 40.8% ideal) but women had better overall CVHI compared to men (11.8% ideal vs. 7.2% ideal). In evaluating CVHI by 10-year age groupings, a steady age-related decay in CVHI was observed: 42.2% of 10-19 year olds had ideal cardiovascular health compared to 20.3% of 20-year olds, 13.0% of 30-year olds, and down to 2.7% in 80+ year olds. Significant gender- and SES-related differences in this age-related decay were observed, with women showing steeper declines in CVHI after age 50 and lower SES showing both a lower baseline and a steeper decline in CVHI (p<0.05 for both). CONCLUSIONS: Results from this study suggest that population cardiovascular health is low even in adolescents, and declines sharply even in early adulthood. Results may identify priorities for population-wide and / or policy-based interventions to improve cardiovascular health.
Author Disclosures: S.J. Frisbee: None. S. Steiner: None. C. Pilkerton: None. S. Singh: None. A. Christian: None. T.K. Bias: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.