Will availability of heart age test reduce heart attacks and strokes?
Public Health England (PHE) is encouraging the public to take a free online test which works out their heart age in an attempt to bring down the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD).
A quarter, 24,000, of CVD deaths are in people under 75 years old, with 80% of these, 19,200, being preventable if people made lifestyle changes to improve their heart health, said PHE.
CVD, most commonly heart attack and stroke, is the leading cause of death in England for men and the second leading cause for women. Of these, 50 a day are preventable with lifestyle changes, according to PHE.
Although one in four adults has high blood pressure, a further 5.6m live with the condition undiagnosed.
People with a heart age higher than their actual age are three times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke, warned PHE.
The heart age test asks simple physical and lifestyle questions and immediately estimates a person’s heart age. It also predicts their risk of heart attack or stroke by a certain age. It gives suggestions on ways to reduce heart age, such as losing weight, reducing alcohol consumption, regular exercise and stopping smoking.
The test has already been taken more than 1.9m times and found four out of five people, 78%, have a raised heart age. Of these 34% have a heart age over five years older and 14% at least 10 years older.