How Old Is Your Heart?
A survey involving 33,000 men over 50 suggests that 1 in 10 of these men have a “heart age” 10 years older than their chronological age, putting them at greater risk for heart attack and stroke.
The survey was part of the larger Public Health England (PHE) analysis, which is based on survey responses of about 1.2 million people in the United Kingdom. According to the PHE, heart disease is the primary cause of death among British men and the second leading cause of death among women in that country, and 7,400 people – about 25 percent of whom are under 75 – die from heart disease or stroke each month.
About half of the people who responded to the survey didn’t know their blood pressure numbers. It’s estimated that as many as 5.6 million people in England currently have high blood pressure without knowing it, increasing their heart attack and stroke risk. (In the U.S., about 1 of 5 adults with high blood pressure do not know they have it, according to the CDC.) Managing blood pressure and making healthy lifestyle changes – improving diet, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, for example – can help reduce this risk.