Association of change in cardiovascular risk factors with incident cardiovascular events

Researchers designed a prospective study to track changes in cardiovascular (CV) health over time, with a specific focus on whether such fluctuations influence the rate of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD). The team used a cohort of thousands of U.K. patients with no prior CVD for the investigation, which tracked them for a mean 18.9 years.

Researchers designed a prospective study to track changes in cardiovascular (CV) health over time, with a specific focus on whether such fluctuations influence the rate of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD). The team used a cohort of thousands of U.K. patients with no prior CVD for the investigation, which tracked them for a mean 18.9 years. The 9,256 people in the sample were classified as having low, moderate, or high CV health based on the American Heart Association's seven metrics: nonsmoker status, ideal body mass index, physical activity, diet, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, and total cholesterol. Compared with low CV health ratings, moderate and high levels of CV health generally translated into a lower CVD risk. A cardiovascular health change was documented over the years, meanwhile, for 6,326 of the study participants—including 13% who improved their CV status. There was no consistent relationship, however, between the direction of change in category of cardiovascular health and risk of CVD as defined by coronary heart disease or stroke.