Introduction The epidemiology of American Heart Association ideal cardiovascular health (CVH) metrics has not been fully examined in African Americans. This study examines the associations of CVH metrics with incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the Jackson Heart Study, a longitudinal cohort study of CVD in African Americans. Methods Jackson Heart Study participants without CVD (n=4,702) were followed prospectively between 2000 and 2011. Incidence rates and Cox proportional hazard ratios estimated risks for incident CVD (myocardial infarction, stroke, cardiac procedures, and CVD mortality) associated with seven CVH metrics by sex. Analyses were performed in 2015. Results Participants were followed for a median of 8.3 years; none had ideal health on all seven CVH metrics. The prevalence of ideal health was low for nutrition, physical activity, BMI, and blood pressure metrics. The age-adjusted CVD incidence rate (IR) per 1,000 person years was highest for individuals with the least ideal health metrics: zero to one (IR=12.5, 95% CI=9.7, 16.1), two (IR=8.2, 95% CI=6.5, 10.4), three (IR=5.7, 95% CI=4.2, 7.6), and four or more (IR=3.4, 95% CI=2.0, 5.9). Adjusting for covariates, individuals with four or more ideal CVH metrics had lower risks of incident CVD compared with those with zero or one ideal CVH metric (hazard ratio, 0.29; 95% CI=0.17, 0.52; p<0.001). Conclusions African Americans with more ideal CVH metrics have lower risks of incident CVD. Comprehensive preventive behavioral and clinical supports should be intensified to improve CVD risk for African Americans with few ideal CVH metrics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health