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Sharp Health News

Do you know your heart age? (infographic)

Feb. 11, 2019

You know how to answer when someone asks you your age. But what about when someone asks you your "heart age"?

Your heart age is the "age" of your cardiovascular system — your heart and blood vessels — based on your lifestyle and personal risk factors for heart attack and stroke. Knowing your heart age just might save your life.

Your optimal heart age should match or be lower than your actual chronological age. However, according to findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3 out of 4 adults in the U.S. — approximately 69 million people — have a calculated heart age that is five or more years older than their chronological age.

How old is your heart? (infographic) Couch potatoes, beware: Bad health habits can make you look older, but did you know ehy can age your heart, too? Simple factors like diet and lack of exercise can add years to your most vital organ. Your age vs. your heart age. Let's say you're 45 and in good shape, but you smoke, have high blood pressure and have diabetes. Your age: 45. Your heart age: 75. 7 ways you'll age your heart: High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking, poor diet without fruits and vegetables, lack of physical activity. Scary stats. 1 in 2 men have a heart age of 5 or more years older than their chronological age. 2 in 5 women have a heart age 5 or more years older than their actual age. 3 in 4 heart attacks and strokes are due to risk factors that increase heart age. But there's hope. Find out your heart's age - and learn tips to help keep it young - with the CDC's online calculator: cdc.gov/vitalsigns/heartage. From the expert. If your chronological age is a car, your heart age shows how much it's been driven and under what conditions. Your car may be new, but if you drive many miles through rough terrain, it will age faster. - Dr. Nassir Azimi, cardiologist affiliated with Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

Experts recommend that you quit smoking, eat a healthy diet, exercise daily and take all medications as prescribed. If you are concerned about your heart age, discuss it with your doctor and together you can come up with continued ways to decrease your heart age and improve your heart health.

View the printable version of this infographic.

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