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AHA sets measures to improve heart health by 2020

Posted On Fri, January 22, 2010

For the first time in its history, the American Heart Association has announced its definition of "ideal cardiovascular health" through a set of characteristics one can follow in order to reduce their chances of heart disease and stroke.

According to a recent statement published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, seven health factors and lifestyle behaviors that specifically support and define "ideal cardiovascular health" have been identified.

The seven measures are as follows: Those who have never smoked or quit more than one year ago; have a body mass index of less than 25kg/m2; engage in at least 150 minute of moderate, or 75 minutes of vigorous, activity each week; obey 4-5 key components of a healthy diet; have cholesterol of less than 200 mg/dL; have total blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg; and have a fasting blood glucose level of less than 100 mg/dL,

The announcement of Life's Simple 7, as the seven characteristics were called, comes as the AHA is attempting to improve cardiovascular health by reducing the number of deaths resulting from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent in the next 10 years.

By lowering one's chance of developing life-threatening conditions, they also likely stand to see their health insurance premiums dip in the long-term.

"Essentially, everyone is a candidate to take at least one step forward in these metrics, from poor to intermediate or intermediate to ideal, to move a substantial portion of the population and have a real impact on cardiovascular health," said Dr. Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, the lead author of the statement.

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