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WEDNESDAY, Sept. 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For adults without hypertension, better cardiovascular health as measured by Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) is associated with a lower risk for incident hypertension, according to a study published online Sept. 16 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Timothy B. Plante, M.D., from the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont in Burlington, and colleagues determined the association between LS7 metrics and incident hypertension in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Disparities in Stroke study, which included participants free of baseline hypertension (2003 to 2007) with a second visit between 2013 and 2016. Each LS7 component was assigned a score for poor, intermediate, or ideal (0, 1, and 2 points); points were summed to generate a 14-point score.

The researchers found that the median LS7 total score was 9 points for the 2,930 normotensive participants (20 percent Black, 80 percent White). Forty-two percent of the participants developed hypertension during a median follow-up of nine years. Each 1-point higher LS7 score was associated with a lower risk for incident hypertension in the fully adjusted model (risk ratio, 0.94).

“Among middle-aged people without hypertension, there is still a huge benefit to seeking optimal cardiovascular health,” Plante said in a statement. “These findings support the current clinical practice recommendations of lifestyle modifications such as eating better, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight to all people, including those without high blood pressure.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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