Healthy lifestyle through young adulthood and the presence of low cardiovascular disease risk profile in middle age: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in (Young) Adults (CARDIA) study

Kiang Liu*, Martha L. Daviglus, Catherine M. Loria, Laura A. Colangelo, Bonnie Spring, Arlen C. Moller, Donald M. Lloyd-Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

184 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND - A low cardiovascular disease risk profile (untreated cholesterol <200 mg/dL, untreated blood pressure <120/<80 mm Hg, never smoking, and no history of diabetes mellitus or myocardial infarction) in middle age is associated with markedly better health outcomes in older age, but few middle-aged adults have this low risk profile. We examined whether adopting a healthy lifestyle throughout young adulthood is associated with the presence of the low cardiovascular disease risk profile in middle age. METHODS AND RESULTS - The Coronary Artery Risk Development in (Young) Adults (CARDIA) study sample consisted of 3154 black and white participants 18 to 30 years of age at year 0 (1985-1986) who attended the year 0, 7, and 20 examinations. Healthy lifestyle factors defined at years 0, 7, and 20 included average body mass index <25 kg/m, no or moderate alcohol intake, higher healthy diet score, higher physical activity score, and never smoking. Mean age (25 years) and percentage of women (56%) were comparable across groups defined by number of healthy lifestyle factors. The age-, sex-, and race-adjusted prevalences of low cardiovascular disease risk profile at year 20 were 3.0%, 14.6%, 29.5%, 39.2%, and 60.7% for people with 0 or 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 healthy lifestyle factors, respectively (P for trend <0.0001). Similar graded relationships were observed for each sex-race group (all P for trend <0.0001). CONCLUSIONS - Maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout young adulthood is strongly associated with a low cardiovascular disease risk profile in middle age. Public health and individual efforts are needed to improve the adoption and maintenance of healthy lifestyles in young adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)996-1004
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation
Volume125
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 28 2012

Keywords

  • epidemiology
  • follow-up studies
  • prevention
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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