CDC Vital Signs: Predicted Heart Age and Racial Disparities in Heart Age Among U.S. Adults at the State Level

Abstract Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Heart age (the predicted age of a person’s vascular system based on their cardiovascular risk factor profile) and its comparison with chronological age represent a new way to express risk for developing cardiovascular disease. This study estimates heart age and differences between heart age and chronological age (excess heart age) and examines racial, socio-demographic, and regional disparities in heart age among U.S. adults aged 30–74 years. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is responsible for nearly 800,000 deaths and approximately $320 billion in costs in the United States each year (1). Studies have identified a number of modifiable CVD risk factors, including high blood pressure, smoking, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, and being overweight or obese (1,2). Differences in prevalence of CVD risk factors play important roles in persistent racial, socioeconomic, and regional disparities in CVD morbidity and mortality in the United States (3,4). Results: Overall, average predicted heart age for adult men and women was 7.8 and 5.4 years older than their chronological age, respectively. Statistically significant (p<0.05) racial/ethnic, socio-demographic, and regional differences in heart age were observed: heart age among non-Hispanic black men (58.7 years) and women (58.9 years) was greater than other racial/ethnic groups, including non-Hispanic white men (55.3 years) and women (52.5 years). Excess heart age was lowest for men and women in Utah (5.8 and 2.8 years, respectively) and highest in Mississippi (10.1 and 9.1 years, respectively). Among 236,101 men and 342,424 women, the mean weighted chronological ages were 47.8 and 47.9 years, respectively (Table 1). The corresponding predicted heart ages and excess...