Sex Differences in Temporal Trends of Cardiovascular Health in Young US Adults

J Am Heart Assoc. 2022 Jun 2:e024790. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.121.024790. Online ahead of print.


Background Favorable cardiovascular health (CVH) in young adulthood has been associated with lower future cardiovascular risk. We determined whether CVH and its sex differences in young adults have changed from 2007 to 2018. Methods and Results We identified 10 206 individuals, aged 20 to 39 years, from the National Health Examination and Nutrition Survey data. CVH was assessed on the basis of the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 metrics (of 7). Changes in the mean number of ideal CVH components and the ideal proportion of individual components were calculated using linear regression analysis. Changes in sex difference trends were assessed with an interaction term between sex and calendar year. The mean (SD) age of the study population was 29.3 (5.8) years, and 5260 (51.5%) individuals were women. The mean (SD) ideal CVH component remained unchanged for both women (4.40 [1.22] to 4.48 [1.15]; P=0.94) and men (3.97 [1.27] to 3.93 [1.24]; P=0.87), with stable sex differences (P for interaction=0.94). Nonetheless, sex differences in blood pressure widened as ideal blood pressure decreased in men (54.0% to 46.9%; P=0.03) but not in women (P for interaction <0.001). Concurrently, the proportion with ideal physical activity declined in women (57.3% to 49.4%; P=0.04) but remained stable in men (P for interaction=0.03). Nonsmoking increased to a greater extent in women (64.1% to 70.5%; P=0.05) than in men (P for interaction=0.01). Conclusions Sex disparities in CVH have persisted with exacerbated differences in blood pressure, physical activity, and smoking. These insights provide opportunities to promote equitable CVH.

PMID:35652471 | DOI:10.1161/JAHA.121.024790