Disparities in Ideal Cardiovascular Health: A Challenge or an Opportunity?
In 2010, the American Heart Association (AHA) declared 2020 health strategy goals to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20% and to improve the cardiovascular health (CVH) of all Americans by 20%.1 The latter goal is aimed at helping everyone living in the United States (US) to achieve, or at least move toward ideal CVH by focusing on seven key health behaviors and risk factors - smoking, body mass-index, diet (based on the healthy diet score), participation in physical activity, and levels of blood pressure (<120/80 mm Hg), blood glucose (<100 mg/dL), and total cholesterol (<200 mg/dL).2 What must not be forgotten is that this 2020 AHA strategy was instituted against the background of health disparities identified by the Institute of Medicine3 in 2003 that are still present in our society today. In this issue, Dong et al.4 describe a strong, graded relationship between the number of ideal CVH metrics and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk (stroke, MI, and vascular death) among whites, blacks, and Hispanics living in the same community. Furthermore, the authors assessed stroke as a separate outcome event whereas prior studies5-8 on ideal CV health either did not include stroke or treated stroke only as a component of a composite outcome. (SELECT FULL TEXT TO CONTINUE)
- cardiovascular disease risk factors
- cardiovascular events
- health disparities
- Received May 14, 2012.
- Accepted May 18, 2012.
- Copyright © 2012, American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited