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Associations Between Cardiovascular Health and Health-Related Quality of Life, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2013
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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:

    The American Heart Association established 7 cardiovascular health metrics as targets for promoting healthier lives. Cardiovascular health has been hypothesized to play a role in individuals’ perception of quality of life; however, previous studies have mostly assessed the effect of cardiovascular risk factors on quality of life.


    Data were from the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a state-based telephone survey of adults 18 years or older (N = 347,073). All measures of cardiovascular health and health-related quality of life were self-reported. The 7 ideal cardiovascular health metrics were normal blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, not having diabetes, not smoking, being physically active, and having adequate fruit or vegetable intake. Cardiovascular health was categorized into meeting 0–2, 3–5, or 6–7 ideal cardiovascular health metrics. Logistic regression models examined the association between cardiovascular health, general health status, and 3 measures of unhealthy days per month, adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, and annual income.


    Meeting 3 to 5 or 6 to 7 ideal cardiovascular health metrics was associated with a 51% and 79% lower adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) of fair/poor health, respectively (aPR = 0.49, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.47–0.50], aPR = 0.21, 95% CI [0.19–0.23]); a 47% and 72% lower prevalence of ≥14 physically unhealthy days (aPR = 0.53, 95% CI [0.51–0.55], aPR = 0.28, 95% CI [0.26–0.20]); a 43% and 66% lower prevalence of ≥14 mentally unhealthy days (aPR = 0.57, 95% CI [0.55–0.60], aPR = 0.34, 95% CI [0.31–0.37]); and a 50% and 74% lower prevalence of ≥14 activity limitation days (aPR = 0.50, 95% CI [0.48–0.53], aPR = 0.26, 95% CI [0.23–0.29]) in the past 30 days.


    Achieving a greater number of ideal cardiovascular health metrics may be associated with less impairment in health-related quality of life.

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