Odds Are Your Heart Is Older Than You Are

Heart Getty RF

“Heart Age” is rarely in line with U.S. adults’ real age.

Your heart started taking shape at roughly the same time the rest of your body did – how come they’re not the same age?

Lifestyle choices you’ve made are the most likely culprit if you are among the 50% of adult American men with a Heart Age exceeding their actual age, or the 2 in 5 American women.

“Basically ‘Heart Age’ is just a simple way to understand the risk for heart attack or stroke,” says Dr. Konstantinos Charitakis, an interventional cardiologist with UTHealth in Houston and the Memorial Hermann Heart and Vascular Institute-TMC.  On their website, the CDC describes ‘heart age’ as “the age of your heart and blood vessels as a result of your risk factors for heart attack and stroke.”  Dr. Charitakis says risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking, poor diet, smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and diabetes.

(source: CDC)

The good news is that by reducing your risk factors, at any age, you can improve your “Heart Age.” 

“It’s never too late, and I think that’s the most important message.  Even after a heart attack, even after a stroke, once well-controlled, they definitely improve the quality of life, they definitely make people live longer,” says Dr. Charitakis.

You can check your heart age with this CDC calculator.

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