FIU Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work researcher Dr. Wasim Maziak, in collaboration with Baptist Health South Florida’s (BHSF) Dr. Khurram Nasir and Dr. Arthur S. Agatston, published A Systematic Review of the Prevalence and Outcomes of Ideal Cardiovascular Health in US and Non-US Populations, which presents evidence that ideal cardiovascular health (CVH), as described in the American Heart Association 2020 Impact Goal, protects against cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and CVD-related mortality as well as other causes of mortality.
[Photo: (left to right) Dr. Wasim Maziak, Dr. Khurram Nasir, and Dr. Arthur S. Agatston]
“Our data show that an increasing number of ideal CVH metrics were associated with a lower prevalence and incidence of non-CVD outcomes such as cancer, depression and cognitive impairment,” says senior author Dr. Nasir, who is the director of the BHSF Center for Healthcare Advancement & Outcomes. “Such findings open a whole new area of tackling several chronic disease risks through general wellness approaches,” adds Dr. Maziak, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the College.
Several population-based studies have examined the prevalence and trends of the American Heart Association’s ideal CVH metrics as well as its association with CVD-related morbidity and mortality, and with non-CVD outcomes. However, no efforts have been made to aggregate these studies until this systematic review of available data on CVH metrics in both U.S. and non-U.S. populations.
Of 14 U.S. cohort studies reviewed, the prevalence of six to seven ideal CVH metrics ranged from as low as 0.5% in a population of African Americans to 12% in workers in a South Florida health care organization. Outside the United States, the lowest prevalence was found in an Iranian study (0.3%) and the highest was found in a large Chinese corporation (15%). All six mortality studies reported a graded inverse association between the increasing number of ideal CVH metrics and the all-cause and CVD-related mortality risk. A similar relationship between ideal CVH metrics and incident cardiovascular events was found in 12 of 13 studies.