Life's Essential 8: Higher Scores Extend Health Span


Life’s Essential 8 are the key measures for improving and maintaining cardiovascular health, as defined by the American Heart Association. Better cardiovascular health helps lower the risk for heart disease, stroke and other major health problems.

recent report has been published on JAMA.

This study leveraged the UK Biobank and included more than 135,000 UK adults with a mean age of 55. The AHA metric was defined as including the following lifestyle behavioral factors:

  • Not smoking;

  • Regular physical activity;

  • Healthy weight;

  • Healthy diet;

  • Healthy sleep (defined as an average of 7-9 hours nightly);

  • Blood pressure in a healthy range:

  • Blood glucose in a healthy range; and

  • Non-HDL cholesterol in a healthy range.

Men with high cardiovascular health scores tended to have an additional 7 years of life expectancy free of chronic disease compared with those who had lower scores. In women, the difference was about 9.5 years between high scores and lower scores.
Also, the number of years lived with chronic disease was compressed in those with high cardiovascular health scores. They tended to have fewer years living with those chronic diseases but more years living free of chronic diseases.