A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed some shocking information. According to the study, three out of four adults in the United States have a predicted “heart age” older than their chronological age. This can cause an increased risk of heart disease. So, despite the fact that you feel young at heart, your heart might not have mutual feelings. The study showed that on average, males’ hearts are around 8 years older than the actual age of the subject. The average females’ hearts were found to be 5 years older. The study also found there was increased heart risk depending on the area in the U.S. where someone lives.
A map from the CDC demonstrates heart risk across the country based on estimated heart age.
Barbara A. Bowman, the director of the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention told CBS News about the impact of the study and how the lack of knowledge surrounding heart disease causes a lack of prevention methods.
“Because so many U.S. adults don’t understand their cardiovascular disease risk, they are missing out on early opportunities to prevent future heart attacks or strokes,” Bowman said.
She went on to explain how heart age plays a major role in someone’s chance of having a heart attack during their lifetime.
“About three in four 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,” Bowman told CBS.
One way for individuals to educate themselves on their risk is by figuring out their heart age through the use of a heart calculator. Heart calculators are easy to use and can be pretty accurate in predicting an estimate of a person’s heart age, just by answering a few questions.
Even if your heart age might be older than you hoped, staying active both in cardio and weight lifting will allow you to increase blood flow and, over time, decrease your heart age.
According to Active.com, “Over time, with chronic cardio training, our resting heart rate drops because each beat delivers a bigger burst of blood, and fewer beats are needed. This takes work off your heart and is why cardio exercise is recommended for heart health.”
There are also various foods you can eat to promote heart health. Here are three of our favorites.
Salmon and other fatty fish promote heart health. Many fish contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which lower the risk of arrhythmia. According to the American Heart Association, eating fatty fish at least twice a week is good for your heart health.
Berries such as blueberries and strawberries can lower your risk of heart attack. The benefits of berries are found through antioxidants, which work to decrease blood pressure.
3. Red wine
According to a study conducted by the American Heart Association, a small amount of red wine, (less than 3 glasses a day) can decrease blood pressure and improve your overall heart health. The key to this is moderation and knowing the fine line that is drawn between alcohol benefiting and harming your health.