Living with a Partner at High Cardiovascular Disease Risk

cardiovascular disease risk
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The human heart beats for nearly 2.5 billion times on average during a person’s life span. It is responsible for the circulation of millions of gallons of blood to all body parts, making sure that are getting a sufficient supply. Heart health is majorly influenced by common factors such as smoking, alcohol, unhealthy diet, and activity level. But in addition to this, the type of relationship that these cardiovascular disease risk patients share with their partners also plays a big part in their condition.

A new study conducted by the research team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (UK) analyses the cardiovascular disease risks and how the relationship affects them. This study was done on the 5000 couples registered in an employee wellness program through Quest Diagnostics.

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The research team set multiple metrics and sorted all of these participants into two categories; ideal risk factors and non-ideal risk factors groups. They were surprised to see that nearly 79% of the couples, including both partners were a part of a non-ideal group with cardiovascular disease risk with unhealthy dietary habits and almost nonactivity level.

It showed that a healthy diet and physical activity are important for both partners of a couple even one of them is at risk of heart diseases. The complete study findings are published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

While there is so much research on the risk factors for heart patients, there is none that targets them and their partners. If two people are living together, it is definite to estimate that they have some shared risk factors and how most of the couples fall into a non-ideal category is really surprising, say the research team.

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The data was obtained from Quest Diagnostics which provided a free health assessment of all of its employees. The data was obtained from 5,364 couples (or 10,728 people) during the years 2014 and 2015. Each couple was analyzed based on the Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) issued by the American Herat Association. This parameter includes BMI, smoking habits, activity level, cholesterol level, diet, bp, and sugar levels in the blood.

Based on this evaluation, all participants were assigned an average score of cardiovascular health. This data on LS7 was obtained through questionnaires, lab tests, and examinations.

Most of the participants shared at least three categories from the LS7 list including smoking, cholesterol, and sugar levels. Nearly a quarter of them reported a poor BMI, inactivity, and a bad CV score. 12% of all the participants were actually a part of the ideal CV score category.

When both partners in a couple were considered as one, most of the couples exhibited the same LS7 factors and even the CV score.

If one partner was a part of any category, there were strong chances for the other partner to be a part of the same category excluding the total cholesterol levels. Nearly 79% of couples reported both partners in a non-ideal category for cardiovascular health.

In addition to this, if one of the partners made a drastic change, for example, weight loss, quitting smoking, started to exercise, etc, the other was also likely to do the same.

There are chances for some of this data to be inaccurate as it was taken from the participants. But overall, it suggests that these CVD risk factors that work on one partner in a couple are also likely to affect the other and vice versa.




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