Cardiovascular health (CVH) is a construct defined by the American Heart Association (AHA) as part of its 2020 Impact Goal definition. CVH has, until now, not been evaluated in Sub-Saharan African populations. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in the prevalence of ideal CVH and its constituent metrics among Ghanaians living in rural and urban Ghana and Ghanaian migrants living in three European countries. The AHA definition of CVH is based on 7 metrics: smoking, body mass index, diet, physical activity, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and fasting plasma glucose. These were evaluated among 3510 Ghanaian adults (aged 25-70 years) residing in rural and urban Ghana and three European cities (Amsterdam, London and Berlin) in the multi-centre RODAM study. Differences between groups were assessed using logistic regression with adjustments for gender, age, and education. Only 0.3% of all participants met all 7 metrics of the AHA's definition of ideal CVH. Compared to rural Ghana (25.7%), the proportions and adjusted odds ratio (OR) of individuals who had 6-7 CVH metrics in the ideal category were substantially lower in urban Ghana, (7.5%; OR 0.204, 95% CI 0.15-0.29), Amsterdam (4.4%; 0.13, 0.08-0.19), Berlin (2.7%; 0.06, 0.03-0.11), and London (1.7%; 0.04, 0.02-0.09), respectively. The proportion of ideal CVH for the various metrics ranged from 96% for all sites in the smoking metric to below 6% in the diet metric. The proportion of ideal CVH is extremely low in Ghanaians, especially among those living in urban Ghana and Ghanaian migrants in Europe.
Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Ethnic minority groups; Europe; Ghana; Ideal cardiovascular health; Migration; RODAM study; Sub-Saharan Africa.