Clinical Edge

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Stress & CV Health in Among Blacks

J Am Heart Assoc; ePub 2018 Jun 5; Brewer, et al

Blacks with higher levels of multiple stress measures are less likely to achieve intermediate or ideal levels of overall cardiovascular (CV) health, specific behaviors (smoking), and biological factors (fasting plasma glucose), a recent study found. Using a community-based cohort of blacks (n=4,383), researchers examined associations of chronic stress, minor stressors, major life events, and a cumulative stress score with the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) components (smoking, diet, physical activity, body mass index, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and fasting plasma glucose). They found:

  • The LS7 components with the lowest percentages of intermediate/ideal CV health levels were diet (39%), BMI (47%), and physical activity (51%).
  • Higher chronic, minor, and cumulative stress scores were associated with decreased odds of achieving intermediate/ideal levels for smoking.
  • Those with more major life events had decreased odds of achieving intermediate/ideal levels for smoking and fasting plasma glucose.
  • Those with higher scores for minor stressors and major life events were less likely to achieve intermediate or ideal LS7 composite scores.


Brewer LC, Redmond N, Slusser JP, et al. Stress and achievement of cardiovascular health metrics: The American Heart Association Life’s Simple 7 in blacks of the Jackson Heart Study. [Published online ahead of print June 5, 2018]. J Am Heart Assoc. doi:10.1161/JAHA.118.008855.

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