US soldiers are more likely to have poor heart health than civilians of similar ages، a new study finds، as the Daily Mail said.
Despite physical fitness requirements، only 30 percent of active duty Army members have 'ideal' heart health، compared to 55 percent of civilians، according to a new American Heart Association study.
Heart health is not only crucial to the overall well-being of members of the military، but to their readiness for duty.
The researchers were stunned to find that people in the Army were in worse cardiovascular shape than other Americans، and suggested that poor diet، insufficient exercise and the stress of service may take their toll. Comparing more than 263،000 active duty Army personnel to nearly 5،000 civilians، researchers found that soldiers were more likely to have high blood pressure and just as likely to have a higher than ideal body mass index (BMI)، according to the report in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
'We were surprised by the results،' said lead author Dr Loryana Vie، senior project director of a long-term collaboration between the US Army and the University of Pennsylvania.
'They were contrary to what we were expecting going into the study because of the Army's health screening and emphasis on physical fitness.'
Ultimately، Dr Vie said، the take-home message isn't just that soldiers have worse heart health than civilians، but rather that there is 'so much room for improvement for everyone،' she said.
'There is an opportunity to improve the health of the whole country.'