Just 3% of Americans Have 'Ideal' Heart Health

On the flip side, only 10% have 'poor' cardiovascular health
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2012 11:16 AM CST

(Newser) – How's this for a gloomy stat? Only 3% of Americans have "ideal" heart health, according to a new report from the American Heart Association. Using data collected on 350,000 Americans in 2009, it gathered info on seven major heart-health factors it identified: blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, BMI, diabetes, exercise, and fruit/veggie intake. Those who had optimal levels in all seven factors (defined, for instance, as getting at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week, or eating at least five fruit/veggie servings a day) got the ideal rating—about 10,500 of those surveyed.

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The AHA broke down its findings by state in an effort to help each one focus its cardiovascular efforts, reports NBC News. Washington, DC, came out on top, with 6.9% reporting ideal heart health, followed by Vermont (5.5%) and Virginia (5%). On the bottom: Oklahoma (1.2%) and West Virginia and Mississippi (both 1.5%). Somewhat encouragingly, only 10% overall reported having poor cardiovascular health, defined as having just zero to two factors at optimal levels. Click to learn your heart health score. (Read more heart health stories.)

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