The American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 index may identify vulnerability for multiple chronic conditions beyond cardiovascular disease, according to a study presented at Scientific Sessions that suggests achieving the AHA’s national goal of ideal LS7 health metrics will reduce the burden of many diseases.
The research was presented Tuesday by Oluseye Ogunmoroti, MD, MPH, postdoctoral research fellow at Baptist Health South Florida in Miami.
“The findings emphasize the importance of primordial prevention as a means to reduce the burden of chronic diseases,” Ogunmoroti said. “The risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer and chronic kidney disease, is lower among individuals with ideal Life’s Simple 7 scores.”
The AHA initiated Life’s Simple 7 with the goal of improved health by educating the public on how to live a healthy lifestyle. The program measures have three common denominators. Any person can make the changes, the steps are not expensive to take and even modest improvements to an individual’s health will make a big difference.
“Educating the public on achieving ideal cardiovascular health has the potential to improve overall well-being and reduce healthcare costs,” Ogunmoroti said.
Ogunmoroti’s study included 6,506 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Participants were followed for a median 10.2 years.
Each component of the LS7 metrics (smoking, body mass index, physical activity, diet, total cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose) was assigned a score: 2 (ideal), 1 (intermediate) or 0 (poor). A total score for all seven components of 11 to 14 was considered ideal; 9 to 10 was considered intermediate; and 0 to 8 was poor.
Cox proportional hazard ratios and incidence rate per 1,000 person-years were calculated for hospital ICD-9 diagnoses of cancer, chronic kidney disease, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism, dementia and hip fracture. Analyses were adjusted for age, gender, race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
Overall, all non-CVD event rates were lower with improved LS7 health status, Ogunmoroti said.
In multivariable adjusted models, with the poor category of the LS7 health index as reference, individuals in the ideal category had a lower hazard for the following non-CVD events: 20 percent lower for cancer, 62 percent lower for CKD, 43 percent lower for pneumonia and 49 percent lower for COPD.