Cardiovascular Health Status in Baby Boomers with Diabetes Mellitus

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Objectives—The objective of this study was to assess the cardiovascular health status of baby boomers with diabetes mellitus (DM) in comparison to the same-age population with DM 10 years previously. Methods—The study was conducted in baby boomers with DM using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2009–2012 compared with NHANES 1999–2002. Cardiovascular health metrics were derived from the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7. The primary outcome was the comparison of the proportion of individuals with each characteristic, including healthy diet, healthy weight, not smoking, exercising regularly, and maintaining an optimal level of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), cholesterol, and blood pressure. Results—Current baby boomers with DM (NHANES 2009–2012) had more obesity (70.9% vs 58.8%; P = 0.009) and a lower proportion of ideal physical activity (20.9% vs 31.7%; P = 0.01) than people of the same age 10 years ago; fewer than 1% adhere to an ideal healthy diet. Current baby boomers more often had ideal cholesterol (59.4% vs 47.2; P = 0.01) and reached an ideal HbA1c (51.0% vs 43.4%; P = 0.047). Blood pressure control, adherence to ideal diet, and smoking rates were not significantly different from 10 years ago. In logistic regression analyses controlling for likely confounders, baby boomers persisted in having more obesity and exercising less often, and reaching an ideal cholesterol level more often (P < 0.01). Conclusions—Although improving in cholesterol and HbA1c, baby boomers demonstrated worsening in several key cardiovascular health indicators, particularly obesity and physical activity.