Fewer than 1 out of 14 American adults have optimal heart and metabolic health according to the recent July 2022 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The research evaluated heart health trends and disparities compared to 20 years ago.
Researchers from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University assessed more than 55,000 adults aged 20 and older from the past 10 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The duration considered for this study was from 1999-2000 to 2017-2018. Along with the heart disease diagnosis, this research study assessed four more indicators such as blood sugar level, body fat level, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure level. It was shocking to know that only 6.8 percent of them had excellent levels of above five indicators with significant differences across sex, age groups, race/ethnicity, and education levels.
Among these components, blood glucose and adiposity worsened significantly between 1999 and 2018. When 1 in 3 adults had optimal adiposity levels in the year 1999, this number got reduced to 1 in 4 by 2018. Similarly, 3 out of 5 had neither diabetes nor prediabetes in the year 1999. By 2018, less than 4 out of 10 were free from diabetes and prediabetes.
Between the years 1999 and 2018, cardiometabolic health declined among all groups, especially Hispanic and Black Americans. Among non-Hispanic White Americans, the rate of proper heart health improved slightly although it remained low.
Optimal Cardiometabolic Health Was Poorest Among:
- Men compared to women
- People aged 65+ compared to those between 20 to 34 years of age
- Mexican Americans compared to non-Hispanic White Americans
- Adults with lower educational attainment than higher educational attainment
While evaluating the indicators, the greatest decline was observed in glucose and adiposity levels.
Outcomes of Cardiometabolic Health Indicators:
A separate June 2022 study, using the American Heart Association’s new Life Essential 8 metrics, reported that only 1 in 5 U.S. individuals have ideal heart health. In this study, physical activity, diet intake, sleep duration, nicotine exposure, blood glucose, blood pressure, blood lipids, and body mass index were considered to assess the overall cardiovascular health. While assessing the heart health of more than 23,400 people in the U.S. during the 2013-2018 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 80 percent were found with a poor or moderate heart health condition.
Reasons for Worsening Cardiometabolic Health:
The trend of worsening cardiometabolic health should not be a shocking surprise since the following factors seem to be the usual lifestyle for many people in the U.S.
- Unhealthy diet patterns include foods and beverages rich in salt, sugar, calories, and saturated fat
- Alcohol intake
- Little or no physical activity
- More hours of screen time
- Little or too much sleep
As these cardiovascular health outcomes prove to be a crisis for everyone, the urgent need of the hour is to improve cardiometabolic health. Although it’s impossible to regain cardiometabolic health overnight, cardiology specialists will have to treat the problem at the personal, clinical, as well as community level.
Searching for cardiology specialists near you? Visit Peak Heart & Vascular to make sure your cardiovascular health is in ideal condition. You can either call Peak Heart & Vascular at 602-698-PEAK or submit an online request form. Consult our experienced cardiology specialists through a virtual visit or in-person at one of our 10 clinic locations conveniently located across Arizona.