American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 and Risk of Venous Thromboembolism: The Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study

Nels C. Olson, Mary Cushman, Suzanne E. Judd, Leslie A. McClure, Susan G. Lakoski, Aaron R. Folsom, Monika M. Safford, Neil A. Zakai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Background-—The American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 metric is being used to track the population’s cardiovascular health (CVH) toward a 2020 goal for improvement. The metric includes body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, physical activity (PA), cigarette smoking, and diet. We hypothesized a lower risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) with favorable Life’s Simple 7 scores. Methods and Results-—REGARDS recruited 30 239 black and white participants ≥45 years of age across the United States in 2003–2007. A 14-point summary score for Life’s Simple 7 classified participants into inadequate (0 to 4 points), average (5 to 9 points), and optimal (10 to 14 points) categories. Hazard ratios (HRs) of incident VTE were calculated for these categories, adjusting for age, sex, race, income, education, and region of residence. For comparison, HRs of VTE were calculated using the Framingham 10-year coronary risk score. There were 263 incident VTE cases over 5.0 years of follow-up; incidence rates per 1000 person-years declined from 2.9 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3 to 3.7) among those in the inadequate category to 1.8 (95% CI, 1.4 to 2.4) in the optimal category. Compared to the inadequate category, participants in the average category had a 38% lower VTE risk (95% CI, 11 to 57) and participants in the optimal category had a 44% lower risk (95% CI, 18 to 62). The individual score components related to lower VTE risk were ideal PA and BMI. There was no association of Framingham Score with VTE. Conclusions-—Life’s Simple 7, a CVH metric, was associated with reduced VTE risk. Findings suggest that efforts to improve the population’s CVH may reduce VTE incidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere001494
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 10 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a cooperative agreement U01 NS041588 from the National Institute of Neurological Disor- ders and Stroke (NINDS) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant RC1HL099460 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Dr Olson was supported by NHLBI 5T32HL007594.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell.


  • Epidemiology
  • Risk
  • Thrombosis


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