Active duty Army soldiers have worse heart health than civilians, according to the results of a new study.
Research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows civilians aged 17 to 64 have better cardiovascular health than soldiers in the same age group.
The data, however, is seven to eight years old. The health information for the more than 263,000 soldiers who participated in the study came from a 2012 examination. The private citizens' data came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which took place in 2011-2012.
Four heart health metrics were used in the study: current smoking, body mass index, blood pressure, and diabetic status. The largest discrepancy between the two groups had to do with blood pressure: 55% of the civilians had ideal blood pressure, compared with 33% of soldiers.
The study was conducted at the University of Pennsylvania.
"Ideal weight and blood pressure metrics were strikingly low in both active duty personnel and civilians," study author Loryana L. Vie, Ph.D. told the American Heart Association. "We found that only one-third of the Army and civilian groups had an ideal weight.
A study last summer, meanwhile, concluded high blood pressure late in life can cause harm to the brain.
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