Life's Simple 7 and Peripheral Artery Disease Risk: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study

Parveen K. Garg, Wesley T. O'Neal, Yejin Mok, Gerardo Heiss, Joseph Coresh, Kunihiro Matsushita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: The American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7 includes seven metrics of ideal cardiovascular health to target for cardiovascular disease prevention. This study determined the relationship between Life's Simple 7 and incident peripheral artery disease in a biracial cohort of middle- and older-aged adults. Methods: This analysis included 12,865 participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study recruited between 1987 and 1989 (mean age=54 years, 55% women, 25% black) and free of peripheral artery disease or other cardiovascular disease at baseline. Overall, Life's Simple 7 score was calculated as the sum of the Life's Simple 7 component scores (two points if ideal, one point if intermediate, and zero if poor) and classified as inadequate (zero to four), average (five to nine), or optimal (ten to 14) cardiovascular health and linked to incident peripheral artery disease identified by hospital discharge diagnosis and leg revascularization. Analysis was conducted in 2017. Results: A total of 434 incident peripheral artery disease cases occurred over a median follow-up of 24.4 years. Compared with the inadequate category (n=1,008), participants in the average (n=8,395) and optimal (n=3,462) categories each had a substantially lower risk of developing peripheral artery disease in a Cox proportional hazards model adjusted for potential confounders (hazard ratio=0.36, 95% CI=0.28, 0.46 for average, and hazard ratio=0.09, 95% CI=0.06, 0.15 for optimal). In a similar model, a one-point higher Life's Simple 7 score was associated with a 25% lower risk of incident peripheral artery disease (hazard ratio=0.75, 95% CI=0.72, 0.79). Conclusions: Better cardiovascular health, as defined by higher Life's Simple 7 score, is associated with a substantially lower risk of peripheral artery disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-649
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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