I saw this interesting article link Heart Age Tops Actual Age in US: CDC in an email from Medscape.com.
It discussed a tool that determines a person’s heart age and risk for heart attack or stroke. It described a recent health study using the tool to show the heart age of many people in the United States—it is more than five years older than their body age. For example, a 50-year-old woman might have a 56-year-old heart, and a 70-year-old man might have a 78-year-old heart. A minority of the participants in the study had a heart age younger or equal to their body age.
The tool performs a calculation using a person’s gender, age, and common risk factors, including smoking, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It also incorporates the weight-related factor many of us don’t want to know—body mass index. The result expresses an age and future risk for cardiovascular disease, one of many types of heart disease.
For perspective, a recent WebMD.com online article calls one type of heart disease—coronary artery disease—“America’s No. 1 killer.”
Interestingly, the Medscape article reported that heart age varied widely across the United States. People in the South had older hearts than people in the Northeast and West. I live in the South and that gave me great pause!
One might say “So what? Everybody knows we should stop smoking, eat better, exercise more . . .”
For me, my heart age represents my heart health. I want my heart to be younger than the rest of me, and I certainly want to escape “America’s No. 1 killer.” What do you think about learning about your heart age?