A recent Men’s Health magazine study ranking 100 U.S. cities for heart health places Baltimore at No. 96, ahead of only Philadelphia — the worst U.S. city for heart health — Birmingham, Ala. and Charleston, WVa.
Men’s Health reported that Baltimore has the highest rate of overweight of people in the country and took a personal shot, referring to the city as a “port town” home to “portly residents.”
On the other hand, Men's Health also just named Baltimore resident Michael Phelps as "the fittest man of all time."
More swimming for everyone!
The healthy heart story noted, however, that “overweight” is different than obese. But then defended its slotting of Baltimore at No. 4 by adding that weight is one of the most significant contributors to high blood pressure.
Philadelphia earned its top ranking because it has one of the worst high blood pressure rates among cities as well as one of the most sedentary populations.
According to Men’s Health, they came up with its rankings by looking death rates for heart disease and then examining cardiac issues in big cities, such as smoking rates, sedentary lifestyles, overweight or obese rates — and the number of people who have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol — based on date from the Center for Disease Control.
They also checked how many households floss, noting inflammation from gum disease can contribute to heart risks, and EPA stats on the number of bad-air days. (We have a lot of bad-air days.)
Rounding out the top ten “worst” cities for heart health:
No. 5 – St. Louis
No. 6 – Milwaukee
No. 7 – Toledo
No. 8 – Buffalo
No. 9 - Cleveland
No. 10 – Tulsa
Another bay city, San Francisco, ranked as the “healthiest” heart city.