Every year, 1 in 4 deaths in the United States is due to heart disease. It’s not just a problem for the overweight, obese, or tobacco-addicted members of the US population. Although certain risk factors increase risk of heart disease, many Americans remain unaware of the importance of the “Simple 7”.
“We have defined “ideal cardiovascular health” as the presence of 7 factors and behaviours that increase the chance of living free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. We call them “Life’s Simple 7,” and they are the core elements to building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.”- Former President of the American Heart Association, Ralph Sacco, MD.
The Simple 7
The Life’s Simple 7 health factors describe the ideal levels for cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar, as well as four health related behaviors. Health behaviors include nonsmoking, appropriate weight, physical activity, and diet. Think you meet the criteria? You may want to think again: according to the AHA, less than 1% of the population actually meets all seven criteria for ideal cardiovascular health.
Are you among them, or wondering what you can do to help raise that 1%? Read on to learn about the Simple 7, and ways you can improve these 7 areas in your own life.