Did you know that four out of five people have a heart age higher than their actual age? A shocking 84,100 people die from these diseases each year, of which around 50 deaths a day could be prevented with lifestyle changes. That's why Public Health England are launching their new campaign to encourage adults to find out their heart age and prevent theses diseases.
Their new free online Heart Age test can estimate the age of someone's heart by asking some simple lifestyle questions. If someone’s heart age is higher than their actual age, they are at an increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Here's how having a heart attack impacted Angie, 51, from Shefford, Bedfordshire. "One day in February 2016, while doing housework, I had a heart attack. “Call an ambulance,” I shouted to my partner, William. As part of my recovery process, I was referred to a six-week cardiac rehab programme.
"I was really shocked when the cardiac nurse told me my weight was a risk factor. It was then that I decided I had to lose weight with Slimming World and become more active, to give my heart the best chance of recovery. When I ask myself what a healthy heart means to me, it’s that I now feel younger, stronger, happier and more confident than I ever have in my life. It makes me want to get up every morning smiling. I believe the heart attack did me the power of good. I’d never felt confident enough to exercise or join group before – it was only realising how serious things had become that led me to make changes I wish I’d made years before. And now I’m hooked on my healthy lifestyle!”
A quarter of cardiovascular disease deaths are in people under the age of 75, with 80% of these preventable. Public Health England believe that being aware of your heart age can help you make important lifestyle changes to benefit your heart health.
The Heart Age Test asks a number of simple physical and lifestyle questions, providing an immediate estimation of heart age, as well as a prediction of the risk of having a heart attack or stroke by a certain age. It also gives suggestions on lifestyle changes to help reduce heart age such as losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising regularly and cutting back on alcohol.
Professor Jamie Waterall, National Lead for cardiovascular disease at Public Health England said: “Millions are at risk of cardiovascular disease but don’t know it, putting themselves at real risk of suffering ill-health or dying younger. Knowing your heart age is a simple way of finding out whether you’re at risk of a heart attack or stroke. By making important lifestyle changes you can reduce your risk before it’s too late.
“Taking a Heart Age Test is something you can easily do at home, but it could be one of the most important things you do to help you live a healthy longer life.”