The American Heart Association's 2020 Strategic Impact Goal is ". By 2020, to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20%." To monitor progress towards this goal, a new construct "ideal cardiovascular health" (iCVH) was defined that includes the simultaneous presence of optimal levels of seven health behaviors (physical activity, smoking, dietary intake, and body mass index) and factors (total cholesterol, blood pressure and fasting blood glucose). In this review, we present a summary of major concepts related to the concept of iCVH and an update of the literature in this area since publication of the 2020 Strategic Impact Goal, including trends in iCVH prevalence, new determinants and outcomes related to iCVH, strategies for maintaining or improving iCVH, policy implications of the iCVH model, and the remaining challenges to reaching the 2020 Strategic Impact Goal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in cardiovascular diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Adults
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Children
  • Prevention
  • Risk factors


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