Adults urged to 'find out their heart age'

05 September 2018 08:09

Medical officials are urging adults to complete the free online Heart Age Test

Medical officials are urging adults to complete the free online Heart Age Test

Adults are being urged to take advantage of a new online tool to find out if they are at risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Developed by medical experts, the free Heart Age Test asks people a series of lifestyle and physical health questions to estimate an individua's "heart age".

If the user's heart age is higher than their actual age, they are informed that they have a higher chance of a heart attack or stroke and be given advice on how to change their lifestyle to help cut this risk.

Millions at risk

Public Health England (PHE) say that the online test has been completed more than 1.9 million times, with nearly four in five (78%) people recording a heart age higher than their actual age.

More than a third (34%) had a heart age more than five years above their real age and 14% found it was 10 years higher.

Professor Jamie Waterall, national lead for cardiovascular disease at PHE, 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."

Leading cause of death

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among men and the second in women.

Around 24,000 of deaths in England every year are in people under the age of 75 and 80% of these are preventable, which is equivalent to around 50 per day, PHE said.

People can improve their heart health by losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising regularly and cutting back on alcohol.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: "Millions of people in the UK are unknowingly living at high risk of a heart attack or stroke due to their lifestyle, their family history of heart disease, or undiagnosed conditions including high blood pressure and cholesterol.

"Our message today is that it's never too late to change.

"Take the test, and if you are concerned by the age of your heart, make an appointment to see your GP."

The Heart Age Test is available free online at www.nhs.uk/oneyou/hat

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