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Editorial
March 28, 2012

Improving the Cardiovascular Health of the US Population

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Preventive Medicine and Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.

JAMA. 2012;307(12):1314-1316. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.361

Building on the successful accomplishment of its goals for the last decade, in 2010 the American Heart Association (AHA) announced its new Strategic Impact Goals: “By 2020, to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20%.”1 The novel aspect of the 2020 goals is the promotion of “cardiovascular health,” a new, positive approach to prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Seven health behaviors and health factors currently define cardiovascular health: smoking status, body mass index, dietary content, participation in physical activity, and levels of blood pressure, blood glucose, and total cholesterol. To encompass the entire spectrum of cardiovascular health (from optimal to uncontrolled levels), each metric has 3 clinically based strata defined as ideal, intermediate, and poor.1

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