Relationship of American Heart Association's Life Simple 7, Ectopic Fat, and Insulin Resistance in 5 Racial/Ethnic Groups

Parag Anilkumar Chevli, Anurag Mehta, Matthew Allison, Jingzhong Ding, Khurram Nasir, Michael J. Blaha, Ron Blankstein, Sameera A. Talegawkar, Alka M. Kanaya, Michael D. Shapiro, Morgana Mongraw-Chaffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The inverse association between ideal cardiovascular health (CVH) as measured by the American Heart Association's Life Simple 7 (LS7) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence is well documented. However, research exploring the association between CVH and specific risk factors for cardiometabolic disease is sparse in diverse cohorts.

METHODS: This study included 7717 participants from the Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis cohorts. We assigned each LS7 component a 0, 1, and 2 and summed these scores to derive an overall CVH score. Visceral, subcutaneous, and intermuscular fat area, pericardial fat volume, and hepatic fat attenuation were measured using noncontrast computed tomography. Multivariable linear regression was used to examine associations between CVH categories and each log-transformed ectopic fat depot, as well as the homeostatic assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).

RESULTS: In adjusted analysis, compared to those with ideal CVH, participants with poor CVH demonstrated 63.4% (95% CI, 54.3-73.0) higher visceral fat area, 84.0% (95% CI, 76.5-92.1) higher pericardial fat volume, 61.6% (95% CI, 50.7-73.2) higher subcutaneous fat area, and 40.6% (95% CI, 30.2-52.0) higher intermuscular fat area, and 15.1% (95% CI, 13.1-17.2) higher hepatic fat (all Ps < 0.001). Also, poor CVH was associated with 148.2% (95% CI, 131.1-166.7) higher HOMA-IR. We also found significant heterogeneity in the strengths of association by race/ethnicity for each ectopic fat depot.

CONCLUSION: Poor and intermediate CVH, as defined by LS7 metrics, were associated with significantly higher measures of ectopic fat and insulin resistance among individuals from 5 racial/ethnic groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2394-E2404
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • Life's Simple 7
  • cardiovascular health
  • ectopic fat
  • insulin resistance
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Insulin Resistance
  • American Heart Association
  • Ethnicity
  • United States/epidemiology
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Health Status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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