UAB researchers say 75% of young adults don’t have ideal heart health

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 9:04 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A new push for young people: take better care of your heart.

That’s the message from researchers at UAB who said 75% of young adults in the U.S. don’t have ideal heart health.

The researchers used data from a survey of American adults ages 18 to 44 and only about a quarter of people studied were considered to have ideal cardiovascular health.

Researchers used the American Heart Association’s Life’s Essential 8 as a key measure for improving and maintaining heart health.

Those eight components include: sleep, body mass index, physical activity, cholesterol levels, healthy diet, blood pressure, glucose levels, and smoking.

Dr. Naman Shetty said young adults tend to neglect their heart health believing it’s more of a problem for older people.

But he said that way of thinking is false and dangerous.

“The best time to take care of your cardiovascular health is at a younger age. You don’t need to wait until you get old to worry about your cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular health in the younger age determines you cardiovascular disease in the future. So, taking care of your health at a younger age is going to be a lot of help when you’re older,” Dr. Shetty explained.

Dr. Shetty added that no matter your age, you can still take steps to improve your heart health.

He said small changes like getting more sleep and moving your body more can make a huge impact on your overall health.

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