Heart age is a concept used to describe the estimated age of an individual’s heart based on their risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This concept is used to help individuals understand the impact of their lifestyle and risk factors on their heart health.

Heart age is determined by evaluating an individual’s risk factors such as age, sex, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, smoking status, and history of diabetes. The result is then compared to the individual’s actual age to determine their heart age.

For example, if a 40-year-old individual has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smokes, their heart age may be estimated to be 55 years old, indicating that their cardiovascular risk factors are more in line with someone who is 55 years old than someone who is 40 years old.

Know your heart age

To know your heart age, you need to undergo a heart health screening. This typically involves a thorough medical history and physical exam, along with blood tests to check cholesterol and glucose levels. Your healthcare provider can use this information to estimate your risk for developing cardiovascular disease and determine your heart age.
Asian Cardiovascular Institute can help you assess your heart age and identify what specific risk factors are affecting your overall heart health. The institute offers different heart screening packages to choose from depending on the services needed and purpose of visit.

Basic Questions to help you gauge your heart health

Lifestyle related:

  1. Do you eat a healthy diet that is low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium?
  2. How much physical activity do you get each week?
  3. Do you engage in regular aerobic exercise such as walking, running, or swimming?
  4. Do you engage in strength training exercises?
  5. Do you maintain a healthy weight for your height and body type?
  6. Do you smoke or use tobacco products?
  7. Do you consume alcohol in moderation or not at all?
  8. Do you manage stress effectively?
  9. Do you get adequate sleep each night?

Medical history related:

  1. What is your age?
  2. What is your blood pressure?
  3. Do you have high cholesterol?
  4. Do you smoke or use tobacco products?
  5. Do you have diabetes or prediabetes?
  6. How physically active are you?
  7. What is your body mass index (BMI) or waist circumference?
  8. Do you have a family history of heart disease?
  9. Have you had a heart attack or stroke?
  10. Do you have any other medical conditions that can increase your risk of heart disease?

If you answered no to almost every question in the lifestyle related section and I don’t know or yes in medical history related section, then it might be time to schedule a consultation with your cardiologist and check on your heart age.

Can I lower my heart age?

You can lower your heart age by taking steps to reduce your risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Here are some strategies that can help:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for CVD. Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and a balanced diet can help lower your heart age.
  • Exercise regularly: Physical activity can help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can help lower your heart age. Avoid processed foods and foods high in saturated and trans fats.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for CVD. If you smoke, quitting can help lower your heart age.
  • Manage stress: Chronic stress can increase the risk of developing CVD. Engage in activities that help you manage stress, such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga.
  • Control your blood pressure and cholesterol: High blood pressure and cholesterol are major risk factors for CVD. Work with your healthcare provider to monitor and manage these risk factors through lifestyle changes and medication if needed.

Benefits of low heart age

Having a low heart age can provide several advantages for your overall health and well-being. Here are some of the advantages of having a low heart age:

  • Lower risk of cardiovascular disease: A low heart age means that your cardiovascular system is functioning well and that you have a lower risk of developing heart disease or experiencing a heart attack or stroke.
  • Improved quality of life: When your heart age is low, you are more likely to have good physical fitness, energy, and endurance, which can improve your overall quality of life.
  • Better mental health: Exercise and physical activity have been shown to improve mental health and reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. A low heart age means that you are more likely to be physically active, which can help improve your mental well-being.
  • Increased longevity: A low heart age is associated with a longer life expectancy, which means that you are more likely to live a longer and healthier life.
  • Cost savings: Lower heart age means a lower risk of developing heart disease, which can result in cost savings related to healthcare expenses and lost productivity due to illness.

Overall, having a low heart age is a sign of good cardiovascular health, which can provide numerous benefits for your overall health and well-being. Knowing your heart age can be a useful tool for motivating individuals to make lifestyle changes to improve their heart health. By making changes to reduce their risk factors, individuals may be able to lower their heart age and reduce their risk of developing CVD. Ready to know your heart age? Schedule a consultation with us today by calling Asian Cardiovascular Institute at (02) 8771 – 9000 local 5748 or 5929.

Sources:

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Heart health and aging. National Institute on Aging. Retrieved March 5, 2023, from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/heart-health-and-aging 
  • Goff, D. C., Lloyd-Jones, D. M., Bennett, G., Coady, S., D’Agostino, R. B., Gibbons, R., … & Smith, S. C. (2014). 2013 ACC/AHA guideline on the assessment of cardiovascular risk: a report of the American
  • College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 63(25 Part B), 2935-2959.
  • Khan, S. S., Ning, H., Wilkins, J. T., Allen, N., Carnethon, M., Berry, J. D., … & Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (2018). Association of body mass index with lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease and compression of morbidity. JAMA Cardiology, 3(4), 280-287.
  • Lloyd-Jones, D. M., Leip, E. P., Larson, M. G., D’Agostino, R. B., Beiser, A., Wilson, P. W., … & Levy, D. (2006). Prediction of lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease by risk factor burden at 50 years of age. Circulation, 113(6), 791-798.
  • Yusuf, S., Hawken, S., Ounpuu, S., Dans, T., Avezum, A., Lanas, F., … & Lisheng, L. (2004). Effect of potentially modifiable risk factors associated with myocardial infarction in 52 countries (the INTERHEART study): case-control study. The Lancet, 364(9438), 937-952.
We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on Asian Hospital. By continued use, you accept our use of such cookies.