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American Heart Association Announces "Life's Essential 8" Enhanced Cardiovascular Health Model


Slide Show: The AHA added sleep duration to its Life's Simple 7 cardiovascular health construct and updated sections on diet, lipids, blood glucose and smoking.

Today the American Heart Association (AHA) unveiled "Life's Essential 8," the association's updated and enhanced construct of cardiovascular health (CVH) developed to take the place of 2010's "Life's Simple 7" as a means to define and quantify CVH in the US.

Scoring for the new model found that only 1 in 5 people in the US has optimal CVH with scores differing significantly according to age, gender, race/ethnicity, income level, and depression statuts. According to the AHA, LIfe's Essential 8 is more sensitive than Life's Simple 7 to differences in CV health across diverse populations.

The AHA conceived of the original Life's Simple 7 in response to decades of decline in CV death rates to expand its focus beyond addressing CV health as merely the absence of disease to incorporating strategies that would more directly and actively promote individual and population health as well. The experience with the construct since 2010 led to the enhanced quantification methods and additional metrics (sleep duration was added) included in the updated the LIfe's Essential 8 approach to measuring, monitoring, and modifying CVH.

In the following short slide show we offer an at-a-glance review of the 8 essential health domains—diet, physical activity, nicotine exposure, sleep health (new), body mass index, blood lipids, blood glucose, and blood pressure—whether they have been updated, and if so, how.

Reference: Lloyd-Jones DM, Allen NB, Anderson CAM, et al, on behalf of the American Heart Association. Life’s Essential 8: updating and enhancing the American Heart Association’s construct of cardiovascular health: a presidential advisory from the American Heart Association. Circulation. Published online ahead of print June 29, 2022. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.122.060911

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