Heart age : is your heart older than you?
Corporate Authors:National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (U.S.)
Series:CDC Vital signs ; 2015 Septemer
Description:Her age is 53. But her heart is 75 years old because she smokes and has uncontrolled high blood pressure. She’s not alone because most American adults have a heart that is older than their actual age. One way to understand your risk for a heart attack or stroke is to learn your “heart age.” Heart age is the age of your heart and blood vessels as a result of your risk factors for heart attack and stroke. There are some things that put you at risk for a heart attack or stroke that you cannot change such as getting older or your family history; yet there are many others that you can change. If you smoke or have high blood pressure, your heart age will be much higher than your actual age. The most common reasons for a higher heart age that can be change or managed are: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and diabetes. At any age, you can make your heart younger by making changes that reduce your risk. Even if you haven’t had a heart attack or stroke, most US adults have a heart age older than their actual age placing them at greater risk of having one.
What you can do:
• Learn your heart age and how to improve it. www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/heartage.htm
• Start by choosing a risk factor or two that you're ready to change, like smoking or high blood pressure, and focus on improving them first.
• Work with your doctor to make heart healthy choices for a lower heart age.
• Take action at any age to lower your heart age and keep it low over time.
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