Life's Simple 7 Cardiovascular Health Metrics and Progression of Coronary Artery Calcium in a Low-Risk Population

Seolhye Kim, Yoosoo Chang, Juhee Cho, Yun Soo Hong, Di Zhao, Jeonggyu Kang, Hyun Suk Jung, Kyung Eun Yun, Eliseo Guallar, Seungho Ryu, Hocheol Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective- We examined the association of cardiovascular health (CVH) metrics with the development and progression of coronary artery calcium (CAC) among apparently healthy adults. Approach and Results- This cohort study included 65 494 men and women 30 years of age and older free of cardiovascular disease at baseline who underwent a comprehensive exam including CAC scoring. CVH metrics were defined according to the American Heart Association Life's Simple 7 metrics based on smoking, diet, physical activity, body mass index, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and fasting glucose. CVH scores range from 0 (all metrics considered unhealthy) to 7 (all metrics considered healthy). Participants were followed-up for a maximum of 6.6 years. Compared with participants with ideal CVH scores 0-1, the multivariable-adjusted difference in the change in geometric means of CAC scores over 5 years of follow-up were -0.40 (-0.62 to -0.19), -0.83 (-1.03 to -0.63), -1.06 (-1.25 to -0.86), -1.22 (-1.42 to -1.03), and -1.05 (-1.42 to -0.69) in participants with ideal CVH scores 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6-7, respectively. The inverse association between CVH scores and progression of CAC was observed both in participants with no CAC and in those with CAC detectable at baseline. Conclusions- A higher ideal CVH metrics score was strongly associated with a lower prevalence of CAC and with lower progression of CAC in males and females in a large cohort of healthy adults. Our findings suggest that maintaining a healthy life habits could help reduce the development and progression of subclinical atherosclerosis and ultimately prevent clinically cardiovascular event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)826-833
Number of pages8
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • atherosclerosis
  • calcium
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • cohort study
  • prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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