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U.S. areas with a high well-being index have lower heart risk

July 25, 2013 at 9:19 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, July 25 (UPI) -- Adults living in U.S. metropolitan areas with the lowest well-being index are about twice as likely to report having a heart attack, a survey indicates.

The findings are based on an analysis of more than 230,000 interviews across 190 metropolitan areas conducted in 2012 of U.S. adults aged 18 and older, collected as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

An average of 5.5 percent of U.S. adults living in the 10 metro areas with the lowest well-being reported having had a heart attack, compared with 2.8 percent of residents in the 10 metro areas with the highest levels of well-being.

The metropolitan ares with the highest well-being index scores in 2012 included: Lincoln, Neb.; Boulder, Colo., and Provo-Orem, Utah. Those with the lowest Well-Being Index scores included Charleston, W.Va.; Huntington, W.Va./Ashland, Ky./Ironton,Ohio, and Mobile, Ala.

Of the approximately 3 million U.S. adults living in the 10 metro areas with the lowest well-being, about 161,000 experienced a heart attack. If these cities experienced the same rate of heart attacks as what is found in the 10 metro areas with the highest well-being, nearly 80,000 fewer residents would be heart attack victims, Gallup said.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey was conducted nationwide Jan. 2-Dec. 29, 2012, with a random sample of 353,563 adults. The margin of error ranged from 1 percentage point to 6.5 percentage points.

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