One in ten 50-year-old men have a heart that is 10 years older than they are, increasing their risk for a fatal heart attack or a stroke, along with dementia, chronic kidney disease and diabetes, a study states.
The analysis, conducted by The Public Health England, was based on answers from 1.2 million people to questions on its Heart Age Test, the BBC reports. Of the participants, 33,000 were men 50 years old. Jamie Waterall, PHE’s head of cardiovascular disease, said, “The Heart Age Test is really important as it gives an immediate idea of heart attack and stroke risk, with no doctor’s appointment needed.”
The organization predicts that 7,400 people might die of heart disease or stroke in this month alone. Heart disease is the primary cause of death among men, and second among women. Of those who had hearts that were older by 10 years, only 36% were women and 64% were men.
Most of these deaths can be prevented and one-fourth of people are under the age of 75. Lowering blood cholesterol and blood pressure, and living a healthier lifestyle can go a long way towards preventing heart disease deaths.
We should all aim for our heart age to be the same as our real age – addressing our risk of heart disease and stroke should not be left until we are older.
Around half of the survey respondents had no idea what their blood pressure was, and 5.6 million people living in England have high blood pressure without knowing it, PHE said. Dr. Mike Knapton of the British Heart Foundation called this “extremely worrying.” “These silent conditions can lead to a deadly heart attack or stroke if untreated,” he said. “The Heart Age Test is a quick and easy way to estimate the number of years you will live in good health. If you are concerned by the age of your heart, make an appointment with your GP.”