Research Article| Volume 53, ISSUE 2, P152-161, August 2017

Prevalence of Cardiovascular Health by Occupation: A Cross-Sectional Analysis Among U.S. Workers Aged ≥45 Years


      Identification of groups with poor cardiovascular health (CVH) can inform where and how to target public health efforts. National prevalence estimates of CVH were derived for clinical (blood glucose, total cholesterol, blood pressure) and behavioral (BMI, diet quality, physical activity, smoking) factors among U.S. workers aged ≥45 years.


      This cross-sectional analysis included 6,282 employed black and white men and women aged ≥45 years enrolled in the national population-based REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke study from 2003 to 2007. Each CVH factor was scored as ideal (2); intermediate (1); or poor (0) according to American Heart Association criteria, and summed to define optimal composite scores: CVH (sum, 10–14); clinical (sum, 5–6); and behavioral (sum, 6–8) health. Occupational data were collected 2011–2013. Analyses were conducted in 2016.


      Only 14% met ideal criteria for all three clinical health factors, and none met ideal criteria for all four behavioral health factors. Sales and low status office workers had a low prevalence of optimal CVH. Service workers in protective services and the food preparation and serving occupations had a low prevalence of optimal clinical health; computer and healthcare support workers had a low prevalence of optimal behavioral health.


      The prevalence of optimal CVH among middle-aged and older workers in the U.S. is low, but considerable differences exist by occupation. Targeted public health interventions may improve the CVH of at-risk older workers with different clinical and behavioral risk factor profiles employed in diverse occupational settings.
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