"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Heart health guidelines are updated.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recently revised its checklist for achieving optimal heart health and introduced its recent Life Essentials 8. This list replaces the AHA's decade-old Living Simple 7.

Sleep health is a brand new addition to the cardiovascular health scoring tool, which now recommends that adults get seven to nine hours per night. The organization has updated 4 categories:

Food: A greater emphasis was placed on heart-healthy diets akin to DASH and the Mediterranean.

Nicotine exposure: Secondhand smoke and vapors were added as risk aspects.

Blood Lipids: People can now get a non-fasting blood sample that measures total, HDL, and non-HDL cholesterol. Non-HDL cholesterol can provide similar risk information as LDL cholesterol.

Blood sugar: The measurement now includes hemoglobin A1c, a very important component in assessing type 2 diabetes risk.

Three categories remained unchanged:

Physical activity: The optimal weekly level is not less than 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity.

Body Mass Index (BMI): A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is perfect for heart health.

Blood pressure: A mercury level below 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) is perfect. Stage 1 hypertension is 130 to 139 mm Hg for systolic pressure (primary) or 80 to 89 mm Hg for diastolic pressure (number two).

You can calculate your heart health rating. mlc.heart.org. The guidelines were published online on 29 June 2022. circulation.

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