Ideal Cardiovascular Health in Adolescence and Young Adulthood: An International Comparison

Melissa L. Martinson , University of Washington, Seattle
Hazal Ercin, University of Washington, Seattle
Nancy Reichman, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

This paper will generate a substantial contribution to understanding US health status in an international context early in the life course by taking advantage international datasets that include comparable measures from questionnaires, body measures, and laboratory blood samples to investigate cross-national differences in cardiovascular wellness (Ideal Cardiovascular Health, ICH) in adolescence and early adulthood in three countries. Preliminary results demonstrate that for the biological and body measurements components of ICH (BMI, total cholesterol, glycated hemoglobin, and blood pressure), adolescents and young adults in England are better off than those in the United States. US adolescents have higher rates of exercise at recommended levels than English adolescents, but this pattern reverses in young adulthood. Young people in England are more likely to smoke than young people in the United States, which results in lower rates of overall ICH in England compared to the United States.

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 Presented in Session 5. Health & Mortality 1