The annual meeting of the American Heart Association was held this year from Nov. 5 to 7 and attracted participants from around the world, including cardiovascular specialists, surgeons, and nurses as well as other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in cardiovascular medicine and surgery.
In one study, Kristen A. Harris, M.D., of the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, and colleagues found social vulnerability to be associated with an increased presence of cardiometabolic risk factors among pregnant women.
The authors aimed to gain insight into the relationship between social vulnerability and the frequency with which pregnant women were entering pregnancy with cardiometabolic risk factors. These prepregnancy risk factors included type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, tobacco use, and obesity, all of which could increase the chances of poor outcomes of cardiovascular origin. Data from 19 million pregnancies in 577 U.S. counties were evaluated (2016 to 2020). The researchers found that women with increased social vulnerability were more likely to have prepregnancy diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.
“As we move towards improving on these outcomes among pregnant women, social vulnerability has to be explored further as well,” Harris said. “This study has important implications as well for future public health intervention in the realm of improving pregnancy outcomes.”
Issam Motairek, M.D., of the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, and colleagues found neighborhood walkability to be associated with a lower prevalence of cardiovascular disease and risk factors, which may be partially explained by increased physical activity in these neighborhoods.
By utilizing the Environmental Protection Agency’s smart location database, the authors generated a population-weighted walkability index for more than 70,000 U.S. census tracts ranging from 1 (least walkable) to 20 (most walkable). These data were then matched to census tract prevalence of coronary artery disease (CAD) and cardiovascular risk factors, including hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity, and diabetes. The mean prevalence for each of the cardiovascular health indicators was calculated according to quartiles of the walkability index.
The researchers found that the prevalence of CAD decreased from 7.0 to 5.4 percent in a stepwise manner across walkability quartiles Q1 (least walkable) through Q4 (most walkable). Similar trends were observed for cardiovascular risk factors, including hypertension (35.5 to 29.7 percent), dyslipidemia (34.5 to 29.7 percent), obesity (35.0 to 30.2 percent), and type 2 diabetes (11.6 to 10.6 percent).