The real “heart-age” of most Americans was found to be older than their actual chronological age
This leads to higher risk of cardiovascular disease, new study shows. The calculation of the cardiovascular system age takes into account heart disease related risks (hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking).
The researchers found that around 69 million US adults have a heart that is older than their chronological age. Unfortunately, this translates into poor lifestyle choices and high heart disease risks for this majority. “Too many US adults have a heart age years older than their real age, increasing their risk of heart disease and stroke. Everybody deserves to be young – or at least not old – at heart”, Dr. Tom Frieden, director of CDC declares.
Study results found that there were differences between men and women: men have been found to have a heart that is averagely 8 years older than their actual age, while a woman’s heart is around 5 years older. Another useful observation for both sexes was that this condition increases with age and decreases for people attending higher education and bigger incomes.
The study results varied from state to state. Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Alabama had the highest percent of heart-aged adults, while Utah, Colorado, California, Hawaii and Massachusetts had the lowest percentage.
Related to ethnicity, African-American men and women heart aging rates were the highest: their heart is 11 years older than chronological ages, on average.
Lack of awareness concerning cardiovascular disease endangers many of the affected adults, as Barbara A. Bowman, director of the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention explains: “Because so many US adults don’t understand their cardiovascular disease risk, they are missing out on early opportunities to prevent future hear attacks or strokes. About 3 in 4 heart attacks and strokes are due to risk factors that increase heart age, so it’s important to continue focusing on efforts to improve heart health and increase access to early and affordable detection and treatment resources nationwide.”
Study results underline an important national problem, but on a different level also helps with heart disease awareness that might lead to improvements in heart disease prevention and future treatment. Affected people, once they acknowledge the problem, may consider changing lifestyle and seeking specialized help.