HealthDay News — The average cardiovascular health (CVH) score is 64.7 (out of a possible 100) for adults based on the American Heart Association’s Life’s Essential 8 metric, according to a study published online June 29 in Circulation.

Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, MD, from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues quantified US levels of CVH using Life’s Essential 8 among nonpregnant, noninstitutionalized individuals ages 2 through 79 years who were free of cardiovascular disease. Data were included for 23,409 participants, representing 201,728,000 adults and 74,435,000 children.

The researchers found that the overall mean CVH score was 64.7 among adults using all 8 metrics and 65.5 for the three metrics available for children/adolescents aged 2 through 19 years (diet, physical activity [PA], and body mass index [BMI]). Significant differences in mean overall CVH scores were seen among adults by sex (women, 67.0 versus men, 62.5); age (range, 62.2 to 68.7); and racial/ethnic group (59.7 to 68.5). The lowest mean scores were seen for diet, PA, and BMI metrics. Across demographic groups, there were large differences observed in mean scores for diet (range, 23.8 to 47.7), nicotine exposure (range, 63.1 to 85.0), blood glucose (range, 65.7 to 88.1), and blood pressure (range, 49.5 to 84.0). Diet scores were low in children, and were progressively lower in higher age groups (61.1 at ages 2 to 5; 28.5 at ages 12 to 19); large differences were also seen in mean PA (range, 63.1 to 88.3) and BMI (range, 74.4 to 89.4).

“Analyses like this can help policy makers, communities, clinicians and the public to understand the opportunities to intervene to improve and maintain optimal cardiovascular health across the life course,” Lloyd-Jones said in a statement.

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