Assessment of American Heart Association's Ideal Cardiovascular Health Metrics Among Employees of a Large Healthcare Organization: The Baptist Health South Florida Employee Study

Clin Cardiol. 2015 Jul;38(7):422-9. doi: 10.1002/clc.22417. Epub 2015 May 21.


Background: Healthcare organizations and their employees are critical role models for healthy living in their communities. The American Heart Association (AHA) 2020 impact goal provides a national framework that can be used to track the success of employee wellness programs with a focus on improving cardiovascular (CV) health. This study aimed to assess the CV health of the employees of Baptist Health South Florida (BHSF), a large nonprofit healthcare organization.

Hypothesis: HRAs and wellness examinations can be used to measure the cardiovascular health status of an employee population.

Methods: The AHA's 7 CV health metrics (diet, physical activity, smoking, body mass index, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and blood glucose) categorized as ideal, intermediate, or poor were estimated among employees of BHSF participating voluntarily in an annual health risk assessment (HRA) and wellness fair. Age and gender differences were analyzed using χ(2) test.

Results: The sample consisted of 9364 employees who participated in the 2014 annual HRA and wellness fair (mean age [standard deviation], 43 [12] years, 74% women). Sixty (1%) individuals met the AHA's definition of ideal CV health. Women were more likely than men to meet the ideal criteria for more than 5 CV health metrics. The proportion of participants meeting the ideal criteria for more than 5 CV health metrics decreased with age.

Conclusions: A combination of HRAs and wellness examinations can provide useful insights into the cardiovascular health status of an employee population. Future tracking of the CV health metrics will provide critical feedback on the impact of system wide wellness efforts as well as identifying proactive programs to assist in making substantial progress toward the AHA 2020 Impact Goal.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • American Heart Association*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / economics
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • United States