Objective: We investigated the role of state-level differences in modifiable cardiovascular (CV) risk factors in contributing to state disparities in cardiovascular mortality rates in the US. Methods: Adults aged 45-74 in 2010 were examined. We constructed a CV risk index summarizing state-level exposure to current smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, alcohol abstinence, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and diabetes using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Outcomes were cardiovascular, coronary heart disease, and stroke mortality. Linear regression was used to estimate associations between the CV risk index and mortality outcomes. Models accounted for state-level socioeconomic characteristics and other potential confounders. Results: Risk factors were highly correlated at the state-level (Cronbach's alpha 0.85 (men) and 0.92 (women). Each +1SD difference in the cardiovascular risk index was associated with higher adjusted cardiovascular mortality rates by 41.0 (95%CI = 26.3, 55.7) and 33.3 (95%CI = 24.4, 42.2) deaths per 100,000 for men and women, respectively. The index accounted for 8% (men) and 11% (women) of the variation in state-level cardiovascular mortality. Comparable associations were also observed for coronary heart disease and stroke mortality. Conclusions: CV risk factors were highly correlated at the state-level and were independently associated with state CV mortality, suggesting the utility of generalized CV risk reduction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)