What’s new about the American Heart Association’s Life’s Essential 8?

Health & Wellness

The American Heart Association recently updated their checklist for cardiovascular health. The 8 items on this list (diet, physical activity, nicotine exposure, sleep, weight, blood cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure) provide guidance for maintaining cardiovascular health.

The biggest update to this checklist of recommendations is the addition of sleep duration as a critical component of heart health – increasing the checklist from 7 to 8 items. Most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Sleep offers a wide range of physical health, psychological well being, and cognitive benefits.

Other changes include adding vaping and secondhand smoke to the nicotine exposure item, and adjustments to the cholesterol and blood sugar measures.