Just 3% of Americans Have 'Ideal' Heart Health

On the flip side, only 10% have 'poor' cardiovascular health
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2012 11:16 AM CST
Just 3% of Americans Have 'Ideal' Heart Health
Those who were 65 or older reported the lowest percentage of ideal heart health.   (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

How's this for a gloomy stat? Only 3% of Americans have "ideal" heart health, according to a new report from the American Heart Association. Using data collected on 350,000 Americans in 2009, it gathered info on seven major heart-health factors it identified: blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, BMI, diabetes, exercise, and fruit/veggie intake. Those who had optimal levels in all seven factors (defined, for instance, as getting at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week, or eating at least five fruit/veggie servings a day) got the ideal rating—about 10,500 of those surveyed.

The AHA broke down its findings by state in an effort to help each one focus its cardiovascular efforts, reports NBC News. Washington, DC, came out on top, with 6.9% reporting ideal heart health, followed by Vermont (5.5%) and Virginia (5%). On the bottom: Oklahoma (1.2%) and West Virginia and Mississippi (both 1.5%). Somewhat encouragingly, only 10% overall reported having poor cardiovascular health, defined as having just zero to two factors at optimal levels. Click to learn your heart health score. (More heart health stories.)

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