Whether you feel young and healthy, your coronary health may be a different story. That is why the NHS has introduced a new online calculator to tell British adults how old their “heart age” is compared with their biological age.
Earlier this week, a new model of the tool hit the NHS UK website to show people if they are at risk of a heart attack and what age this may occur. It then offers guidance on how to make lifestyle changes that will reduce their “heart age” and lower their chances of cardiovascular disease.
Associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation Dr Mike Knapton said: “Knowing your “heart age” is vital to taking control of your health. Armed with this knowledge, you can start to make changes to help protect yourself against cruel and life-changing events such as heart attack and stroke.”
When the original version of the calculator was launched last year, 80 per cent of the 575,000 people who used it had a “heart age” older than their real age.
There was a bigger problem among men, with nearly nine out of ten males under the age of 40 having a heart older than their years. This is compared with just 40 per cent of women.
As the biggest killer in the UK, accounting for a quarter of all deaths, heart disease is still a huge threat to British adults. That is why making lifestyle changes is integral to improving your health. The NHS recommends quitting smoking, exercising, improving your diet and reducing alcohol intake to reduce your “heart age”.
For instance, a woman of 40 who smokes would lower her “heart age” by six years simply by cutting out cigarettes.
This comes after University of Leicester researchers created a genomic risks score to determine patients’ chances of developing heart disease within ten years. The test could be used in conjunction with clinical risk assessments such as this calculator to ascertain their heart health.
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