This segment is sponsored by the American Heart Association.

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The complete list of 8 health factors, which the American Heart Association calls Life’s Essential 8, provides a roadmap to living the healthiest, longest life possible.

Heart disease and stroke claim the lives of nearly 1 million people each year, despite being largely preventable. The American Heart Association developed Life’s Essential 8 to help people reach ideal cardiovascular health.

Announcement Highlights:

  • American Heart Association’s checklist to measure cardiovascular health is updated, now called Life’s Essential 8™, adding healthy sleep as essential for optimal cardiovascular health.
  • Other health and lifestyle factors in the checklist, which were part of the previous, 7-item scoring tool, are nicotine exposure, physical activity, diet, weight, , blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure. 
  • The new sleep metric suggests 7-9 hours of sleep daily for optimal cardiovascular health for adults, and more for children depending on age.
  • The updated scoring can now be used for people ages 2 and older, and four components are measured in new ways: a new guide to assess diet; nicotine exposure replaces cigarette smoking to include electronic cigarettes (vaping) and exposure to secondhand smoke; non-HDL cholesterol is suggested instead of total cholesterol; and the blood sugar measure is expanded to include hemoglobin A1c levels.
  • Life’s Essential 8™ is assessed by the online My Life Check tool, which has an updated scoring system to give users a score of up to 100 points based on an average of scores for each health and lifestyle factor.