Heart Health at the Tipping Point – Significant Deterioration Over the Past Decades
A research team examined the cardiometabolic health of the American population based on five criteria: blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels, body weight and the occurrence of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and accidents. cerebrovascular. The sobering result: less than seven percent of participants performed well in all areas.
Researchers from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University (USA) report in the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology” that only 6.8% of the American population has good heart health. The general state of health has deteriorated considerably over the past 20 years.
A devastating health crisis
More than 93% of respondents performed poorly in at least one of the five areas studied. The task force describes this as a “devastating health crisis that requires urgent action”.
The team compared health data from 2017 and 2018 with that from 1999. Scientists were able to identify many negative trends over the past two decades.
Sharp deterioration compared to 1999
For example, in 1999, one in three adults had reached their optimal body weight. In 2018, this was only seen in one in four people. In 1999, three out of five adults had neither diabetes nor prediabetes. In 2018, more than six out of ten adults already suffered from these metabolic diseases.
“It is highly problematic that in the United States, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, fewer than one in 15 adults have optimal cardiometabolic health,” said study author Meghan O’ Hearn.
“We need a complete overhaul of our health system, our food system and our built environment because this is a crisis for everyone, not just for part of the population”, concludes the researcher.
Representative sample of 55,000 people
The data is based on nationally representative samples of approximately 55,000 people aged 20 and over. What was also striking about the results was that factors such as gender, ethnicity and level of education had a major impact on health status.
Social factors affect heart health
For example, adults with little education were only half as likely to have optimal heart health scores in all five domains as those with higher levels of education.
“The social determinants of health, such as food and nutrition security, social and community context, economic stability and structural racism, put individuals of different levels of education, race and ethnicity at increased risk. health problems”, summarizes the author of the study, Dariush Mozaffarian. .
He says it’s an important contribution to “better understanding and addressing the causes of poor nutrition and health inequities in the United States and around the world.”
Cardiovascular disease is largely preventable
“These diseases are largely preventable,” says O’Hearn. She says more needs to be done to identify those affected who are at a “critical juncture”.
Appropriate interventions such as a healthy diet and more exercise could prevent serious disease in the majority of people.
“We have the public health and the clinical response to address these issues,” O’Hearn said. “Now there is a growing economic, social and ethical need to pay much more attention to this problem than was the case in the past,” concludes the study’s author. (vb)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek
Meghan O’Hearn, Brianna N. Lauren, Dariush Mozaffarian, et al. : Trends and disparities in cardiometabolic health among American adults, 1999-2018; in: Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2022), sciencedirect.comTufts University: Only seven percent of adults have good cardiometabolic health (published: 04/07/2022), eurekalert.org
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.