A healthy heart is important to the well-being of older adults. The American Heart Association (AHA) defines “ideal cardiovascular health” based on four health behaviors (current smoking, body mass index, physical activity, and healthy diet) and three health factors (total cholesterol, blood pressure, and fasting blood glucose level).
Recently, a team of researchers studied older Latin Americans to examine the relationship between the AHA guidelines and disability. Their study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Association.
The relationship is an important one to consider, since heart disease (also known as “cardiovascular disease) can lead to several disabling problems for older adults. In fact, heart attacks and strokes are the first and third most common causes of disability in the US. The effect of a stroke on the brain is a leading cause of disability. Cardiovascular disease is the second leading cause of dementia and, for older adults, the disease also can make it difficult to function in daily life.
In their study, the researchers used information from the Chilean National Health Survey conducted between 2009-2010. 460 Chilean adults all over age 65 participated in the study. Continue reading