Only 1 in 5 US people have good heart health, study finds

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A Cool Tool for Checking Heart Health

Here’s something really important you need to know – about 80% of people in America don’t have the best heart health. This finding comes from a new study using a great new tool called “Life’s Essential 8”.

This was put together by the American Heart Association, a big group of doctors and scientists who study how our hearts work and how to keep them healthy.

Before, they had a checklist with 7 items on it, called “Life’s Simple 7.” But they thought about it and decided to add another item to the list – healthy sleep.

Yes, getting a good night’s sleep is now known to be very important for our hearts.

So, What’s on This List?

This new list, Life’s Essential 8, has these eight things that are really important for your heart and brain to stay healthy:

  1. Eating a healthy diet
  2. Doing enough physical activity
  3. Not being around too much nicotine (from cigarettes, for example)
  4. Getting a good amount of sleep
  5. Keeping a healthy body weight
  6. Having healthy amounts of fats in your blood
  7. Keeping your blood sugar levels healthy
  8. Keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level

How Do You Score?

To get a score on Life’s Essential 8 list, you add up points from each of these items and then divide by 8 to get an average.

The best score you can get is 100, which means you’re doing great! If your score is below 50, it means there are a lot of things you can work on to get healthier.

If your score is between 50 and 79, it means you’re doing okay, but there’s still room for improvement.

What the Study Found

So, scientists used this new tool to check the heart health of more than 23,400 people in America, both adults and children.

Guess what? Most of them, about 80%, got a score that was only okay or not so good.

Here’s more of what they found:

  • The average score for adults was 64.7 and for children, it was 65.5.
  • Only about half of 1% of adults got the perfect score of 100.
  • Almost 20% of adults had good heart health, over 60% were just okay, and almost 18% were not doing so well.
  • Women got a little better scores than men.
  • For both adults and kids, the hardest things were eating a good diet, getting enough exercise, and keeping a healthy weight.

Why is This Important?

Taking care of your heart is super important. You need your heart to pump blood around your body, to bring oxygen and nutrients to all your cells. If your heart isn’t healthy, you could get really sick.

In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for adults in America. It can cause things like heart attacks and strokes, which can be really serious.

But the good news is, there are a lot of things you can do to keep your heart healthy. Things like eating a good diet, getting plenty of exercise, not smoking, and getting enough sleep.

So, it’s never too early to start taking care of your heart. And remember, every little bit helps! Even small changes can make a big difference in your heart health.

What’s Next?

The scientists who did this study hope that their findings will help people understand better how to take care of their hearts.

They also hope that doctors and others will use this new tool to help people improve their heart health.

It’s important to keep studying and learning about heart health, so we can keep getting better at taking care of our hearts. And the Life’s Essential 8 is a big step in the right direction!

If you care about heart health, please read studies about an important cause of heart disease, and how to remove plaques that cause heart attacks.

If you care about heart health, please read studies about how eating eggs can help reduce heart disease risk, and Vitamin K2 could help reduce heart disease risk.

The study was published in Circulation.

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