Is High CV Health in Young Adulthood Associated With Lower Risk of CVD, Death?

High cardiovascular health in late adolescence/young adulthood was associated with very low rates of premature cardiovascular disease and mortality over 32 years, based on findings from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study published Nov. 9 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and being presented at AHA 2020.

Amanda M. Perak, MD, MS, et al., analyzed data from a diverse group of 4,836 participants between the ages of 18 and 30 (mean age 24.9 years) over the course of 32 years. Of the participants, 54.8% were female, 50.5% were black and average education was 15.2 years. Cardiovascular health, which was scored at baseline using Life's Simple 7 metrics, was high in 24.8% of participants, moderate in 65% of participants and low in 6.3%.

"While this was a younger, asymptomatic, and generally healthy cohort by most standards, more than two-thirds of participants had moderate or worse cardiovascular health and only approximately one-fourth had high cardiovascular health levels at age 18-30 years," researchers said.

Over the follow-up period, 306 participants experienced cardiovascular events and 431 deaths occurred. Perak and colleagues noted that among individuals with high cardiovascular health, event rates were low across sociodemographic subgroups defined by age, sex, race and education (less than 0.2% per year), highlighting the "critical importance" of maintaining high cardiovascular health throughout childhood into young adulthood.

According to Perak, et al., their findings suggest "the vast majority of premature events could have been avoided if all participants had high cardiovascular health at baseline."

Keywords: AHA Annual Scientific Sessions, AHA20, Cardiovascular Diseases, Coronary Vessels, Benchmarking, Follow-Up Studies, Cohort Studies, Cardiology, Health Status

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