Ideal cardiovascular health: who has it?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 80% of those deaths occur in low and middle income countries. In such a country, namely the Republic of Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina, CVD was responsible for 53% of all causes of death in 2010.
The authors of a study we just published, aimed to assess the prevalence of ideal cardiovascular health and its relationship with socio-demographic characteristics of the participants. Data from 4,170 adults were taken from the National Health Survey of 2010 and assessed smoking, BMI, diet, physical activity, cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose.
The results showed that only 0.02% of the participants had ideal heart health (i.e. all the above health metrics in ideal levels); 7.6% had intermediate heart health and 92.4% poor heart health. The least prevalent ideal health factor was healthy diet, while the most prevalent ideal was fasting glucose.
There was better cardiovascular health status in women and young and middle aged adults. There was a statistically significant association between cardiovascular health and educational level. There was better cardiovascular health in urban dwellers, despite better health behaviours in rural settings.
The authors conclude that public health strategies and interventions must be developed to assist individuals and population in improving their cardiovascular health.
** This study was written by Slavenka Janković, Dragana Stojisavljević, Janko Janković, Miloš Erić and Jelena Marinković