Life's Simple 7 at Midlife and Risk of Recurrent Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality after Stroke: The ARIC study

Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, Yejin Mok, Rebecca F. Gottesman, Anna Kucharska-Newton, Kunihiro Matsushita, Priya Palta, Wayne D. Rosamond, Fred Stephen Sarfo, Josef Coresh, Silvia Koton

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4 Scopus citations


Background: Stroke is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among adults in the U.S. Ideal levels of the Life's Simple 7 (LS7) are associated with lower cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality. However, the association of LS7 with CVD, recurrent stroke, and all-cause mortality after incident stroke is unknown. Methods: We used data from the ARIC study, a cohort of 13,508 adults from four US communities, 45–64 years old at baseline (1987–1989). Cardiovascular hospitalizations and mortality were ascertained in follow-up through December 31st, 2017. We defined cardiovascular health (CVH) based on AHA definitions for LS7 (range 0-14) and categorized CVH into four levels: LS7 0-3, 4-6, 7-9, and ≥10 (ideal LS7), according to prior studies. Outcomes included incident stroke, CVD, recurrent stroke, all-cause mortality, and a composite outcome including all the above. Adjusted hazard ratios (95% CI) were estimated with Cox proportional hazards regression models. Results: Median (25%-75%) follow-up for incident stroke was 28 (18.6-29.2) years. Participants with incident stroke were 55.7 (SD 5.6) years-old at baseline, 53% were women and 35% Black. Individuals with LS7 score ≥10 had 65% lower risk (HR: 0.35; 95% CI: 0.29-0.41) of incident stroke than those with LS7 4-6 (reference group). Of 1,218 participants with incident stroke, 41.2% (n=502) had composite CVD and 68.3% (n=832) died during a median (25%-75%) follow-up of 4.0 (0.76-9.95) years. Adjusted HR (95% CI) for stroke survivors with LS7≥10 at baseline were 0.74 (0.58-0.94) for the composite outcome, 0.38(0.17-0.85) for myocardial infarction, 0.60 (0.40-0.90) for heart failure, 0.63 (0.48-0.84) for all-cause mortality, and 0.65 (0.39-1.08) for recurrent stroke. Conclusions: Good and excellent midlife cardiovascular health are associated with lower risks of incident stroke and CVD after stroke. Clinicians should stress the importance of a healthy lifestyle for primary and secondary CVD prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106486
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Lifestyle
  • Recurrent event
  • Risk factor
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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