The study found that while those who began with and maintained good heart health suffered the fewest hospitalizations or deaths from heart attacks, strokes, or heart failure, those who suffered poor heart health but improved over time also saw vast improvements in their outcomes.
The researchers explain that their results underscore the need for consistent monitoring of heart health among younger adults, which can lead to interventions in the seven categories the AHA identified. “Most people lose ideal cardiovascular health before they reach midlife, yet few young people have immediate health concerns and many do not usually seek medical care until approaching midlife,” said the study’s senior author Hyeon Chang Kim, MD, PhD, in a statement. “We need strategies to help preserve or restore heart health in this population because we know poor heart health in young adults is linked to premature cardiovascular disease.”
Not sure how you’d rank on the researchers’ scale? Talk to your doctor to find out how your cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and other factors may be influencing your heart health.RELATED: This Exercise Can Make Your Heart Attack Risk Soar, Study Says.