Objective: To estimate the prevalence of healthy lifestyle characteristics and to examine the association between different combinations of healthy lifestyle characteristics and cardiovascular disease biomarkers.
Patients and methods: The prevalence of healthy lifestyle characteristics was estimated for the US adult population (N=4745) using 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data for the following parameters: being sufficiently active (accelerometer), eating a healthy diet (Healthy Eating Index based on 24-hour recalls), being a nonsmoker (serum cotinine level), and having a recommended body fat percentage (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry). Cardiovascular biomarkers included mean arterial pressure, C-reactive protein, white blood cells (WBCs), total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), total cholesterol to HDL-C ratio, fasting low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting triglycerides, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, insulin resistance, hemoglobin A1c, and homocysteine. The study was conducted from August 15, 2013, through January 5, 2016.
Results: Only 2.7% (95% CI, 1.9%-3.4%) of all adults had all 4 healthy lifestyle characteristics. Participants with 3 or 4 compared with 0 healthy lifestyle characteristics had more favorable biomarker levels except for mean arterial blood pressure, fasting glucose, and hemoglobin A1c. Having at least 1 or 2 compared with 0 healthy lifestyle characteristics was favorably associated with C-reactive protein, WBCs, HDL-C, total cholesterol, and homocysteine. For HDL-C and total cholesterol, the strongest correlate was body fat percentage. For homocysteine, a healthy diet and not smoking were strong correlates; for WBCs, diet was not a strong correlate.
Conclusion: Although multiple healthy lifestyle characteristics are important, specific health characteristics may be more important for particular cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Copyright © 2016 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.