An evaluation of nearly 2000 people in Alleghany County Pennsylvania shows a startlingly low prevalence of heart health among middle aged Americans. Of the more than 1930 evaluations conducted only one person fell into what is considered to be the category of ideal cardiovascular health as defined by the American Heart Association.
In order to rank as ideal in terms of cardiovascular health according to the American Heart Association, people must meet seven criteria. Among the seven criteria are four important behavioral characteristics – being a non-smoker, not being overweight, participating is a goal based exercise program and consuming a healthy diet.
In order to achieve an ideal rating a person must also have a cholesterol level below 200, a blood pressure below 120 over 80 and a fasting blood sugar level below 100.
Participating in heart healthy behaviors is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of a heart attack even if you’ve got other risk factors, like a family history of cardiovascular disease. Consult your health care provider for advice on simple alterations to your diet that can help you manage your weight and lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Your health care provider will also be able to suggest effective and age appropriate exercise routines to improve cardiovascular fitness and lower your risk of heart disease.