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Only two in five US adults with or at risk of CVD use their smart devices to track health goals, according to a recent study.

Using a nationally representative Health Information National Trends Survey for 2017 to 2020, researchers examined self-reported tracking of health-related goals (optimizing body weight, increasing physical activity, and/or quitting smoking) using smart devices among people with cardiovascular disease (CVD) or cardiovascular risk factors of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and/or smoking.

Of the 16,092  participants, 10,660 had CVD or cardiovascular risk factors, representing 154.2 million US adults (mean age, 60; about half, women)

Among the general adult population, 46% tracked their health goals using their smart devices, compared with 42% of those with or at risk of CVD. Although older individuals and men are more likely to develop CVD, they were less likely to own a smart device or use them to monitor their health, according to the authors. Those more likely to use smart devices for health tracking were younger (<65 years of age), women, those of non-Hispanic Black race/ethnicity, those with a college education or higher, and those with a household income over  $50,000.

In contrast to individuals with obesity, those with high blood pressure and cigarette smoking reported lower use.

Furthermore, individuals with or at risk of CVD were less likely to own a smart device compared with those without these conditions or risks, and those who did were significantly less likely to use the health applications on their devices.

The authors conclude, "The lower use of smart devices among older individuals, men, and those with a lower socioeconomic status, who are also at higher risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes, requires that digital health interventions are designed so as not to exacerbate existing health disparities."

To read the article, published in JACC: Advances, click here

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