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Circulation. 2011 Mar 1;123(8):850-7. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.980151. Epub 2011 Feb 14.

Low prevalence of "ideal cardiovascular health" in a community-based population: the heart strategies concentrating on risk evaluation (Heart SCORE) study.

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  • 1University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.



Cardiovascular health is a new construct defined by the American Heart Association (AHA) as part of its 2020 Impact Goal definition. The applicability of this construct to community-based populations and the distributions of its components by race and sex have not been reported.


The AHA construct of cardiovascular health and the AHA ideal health behaviors index and ideal health factors index were evaluated among 1933 participants (mean age 59 years; 44% blacks; 66% women) in the community-based Heart Strategies Concentrating on Risk Evaluation (Heart SCORE) study. One of 1933 participants (0.1%) met all 7 components of the AHA's definition of ideal cardiovascular health. Less than 10% of participants met ≥ 5 components of ideal cardiovascular health in all subgroups (by race, sex, age, and income level). Thirty-nine subjects (2.0%) had all 4 components of the ideal health behaviors index and 27 (1.4%) had all 3 components of the ideal health factors index. Blacks had significantly fewer ideal cardiovascular health components than whites (2.0 ± 1.2 versus 2.6 ± 1.4; P < 0.001). After adjustment by sex, age, and income level, blacks had 82% lower odds of having ≥ 5 components of ideal cardiovascular health (odds ratio 0.18, 95% confidence interval, 0.10 to 0.34; P<0.001). No interaction was found between race and sex.


The prevalence of ideal cardiovascular health is extremely low in a middle-aged community-based study population. Comprehensive individual and population-based interventions must be developed to support the attainment of the AHA's 2020 Impact Goal for cardiovascular health.

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