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Table 1 Definitions for and Questions Used to Determine the Cardiovascular Health Index Scorea

From: Subclinical atherosclerosis, cardiovascular health, and disease risk: is there a case for the Cardiovascular Health Index in the primary prevention population?

Component NHANES Question(s) / Data Used for Component Inadequate
(0 points)
Average
(1 point)
Optimum
(2 points)
Smoking Based upon responses to questions: “Have you smoked at least 100 cigarettes in your life?”, “Do you now smoke cigarettes?”, “How long since you last smoked cigarettes?” Current smoker Former smoker who quit less than a year ago Never smoked OR former smoker who quit a year or more ago
Body Mass Index (kg/m2) Calculated based on the height and weight measurements obtained during the clinical examination. ≥30 kg/m2 25.0–29.9 ≥ 30 kg/m2 < 25.0 ≥ 30 kg/m2
Physical Activity Based upon questions addressing intensity, frequency and duration of physical activity. Moderate intensity activities: those causing “light sweating or a slight to moderate increase in breathing or heart rate.” Vigorous intensity activities: those causing “heavy sweating or large increases in breathing or heart rate”. None Moderate intensity (< 150 mins/wk), OR vigorous intensity (< 75 mins/wk) Moderate intensity (≥150 mins/wk), OR vigorous intensity (≥75 mins/wk) OR
Combined intensity (≥150 min/wk)
Diet Scored as follows: ≥4.5 cups per day of fruits and vegetables (1 point), ≥2 servings of 3.5-oz of fish per week (1 point), ≥3 servings of 1-oz of fiber-rich whole grains per day (1 point), < 1500 mg sodium per day (1 point), and < 450 kcal of added sugar in sugar-sweetened beverages per week (1 point). 0–1 diet points 2–3 diet points 4–5 diet points
Total Cholesterol (mg/dL)b Determined according to procedures described in the NHANES Laboratory/Medical Technologists Procedures Manual for the collecting and storing blood samples, and for laboratory processing of plasma lipids and glucose [49]. ≥240 mg/dL
[≥6.21 mmol/L]
200–239 mg/dL OR achieved goal on cholesterol lowering medication
[5.17–6.18 mmol/L)
< 200 mg/dL and not on cholesterol lowering medication
[< 5.17 mmol/L]
Blood pressure (mmHg) Measured by qualified technicians after the subjects had been sitting quietly for 5 min. Blood pressure measurement were taken at least 3 times on each subject and the average of these values were used for this study. SBP ≥140 mmHg OR DBP ≥90 mmHg SBP 120–139 mmHg OR DBP 80–89 mmHg OR achieved goal on blood pressure lowering medication SBP < 120 mmHg and DBP < 80 AND not on blood pressure lowering medication
Fasting blood glucose (mg/dL)b Determined according to procedures described in the NHANES Laboratory/Medical Technologists Procedures Manual for the collecting and storing blood samples, and for laboratory processing of plasma lipids and glucose [49]. ≥126 mg/dL
[≥7.0 mmol/L]
100–125 mg/dL OR achieved goal on glucose lowering medication
[5.5–6.99 mmol/L]
< 100 mg/dL AND not on glucose lowering medication
[< 5.5 mmol/L]
  1. aComponents, cut-off values, and scoring criteria as defined in Lloyd-Jones et al. (2010) [18]
  2. bSI units shown in square brackets