Is Your Heart Older Than You?

Your heart age may be older than you are, increasing your risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. According to a study from the US centres for disease control and prevention, 3 out of 4 American adults have a heart age that is older than actual age- the average heart age of adult men is 8 years older than their chronological age and for women, it is 5 years older. The study also found that heart age increases with age and decreases with higher education and household income.
Heart age is actually the age of a person's heart and blood vessels. It is calculated based on certain risk factors including high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and body mass index. About three-fourths of heart attacks and strokes are due to risk factors that increase heart age Knowing one's heart age and risk of dying from heart attack or stroke can lead to better awareness and adoption of healthier lifestyle such as: .
1. Regular Exercise- At least 30 minutes of exercise daily can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke by up to 35 %.
2. Maintaining healthy weight-Being overweight or obese increase your risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which contribute to your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. You are an increased risk if your BMI is 25 or more. If you are a man with the waist measurement of 94cm (about 37 inches) or more or woman with a waist measurement of 80cm (about 31.5) inches or more.
3. Healthy diet-Healthy diet also contributes lots to risk of developing heart disease. Limit your salt in your diet and drinking more water. Having more than five portions of fruits and vegetables a day can lower risk of heart attack and stroke by 20%.
4. Know your numbers--Keep track of your blood pressure, and cholesterol whenever you get checked.
5. Non Smoking- If you are a smoker, try not to smoke and stop it .non smoker has fewer chances of getting heart disease than smokers.
Men are at higher risk of getting a heart attack than women .those with a family history of heart disease are at greater risk for a heredity of weak hearts. The average heart age for men is 7.8 years older than their actual age, compares to 5.4 years older for women. Heart age was higher than actual age for all race/ethnic groups, out of it was highest for African American men and women, averaging 11 years older than chronological age.
Many people have a heart age that is greater than their actual age because of certain reasons:
If a man who is 45 years old is smoker high Blood pressure (higher than 150mm Hg) Diabetic healthy weight (BMI 23) has a heart age 75 years. Similarly, A woman whose age is 50 years old who is a non-smoker with high blood pressure (systolic of 148mm Hg), diabetic and obese (BMI of 32) has 85 years of heart age.

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