Your birthday isn't the only thing that matters. Experts share how to figure out your "heart age" and how to keep it low.
If you’re reading this, then it’s safe to say that you’re interested in not just learning more about heart health, but also ways to keep your ticker strong for many years to come.
While everybody is different, there is an idea that your heart has an age that’s not always correlated with your real age.
A “heart age” refers to the level of risk that an individual has for a stroke or heart attack. Your heart age is generally affected by factors including chronological age, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and lifestyle habits.
“The [New York City Health Department’s] Heart Age Calculator is a tool that can help people understand their risk of a cardiovascular event by assessing known cardiac risk factors to estimate a person’s risk compared to a defined healthy range,” said Dr. Joy Gelbman, a cardiologist at Weill Cornell Medicine. “If the heart age is older than a person’s current age, it indicates that there is elevated modifiable risk” for a cardiac event, she said.
According to the National Institute on Aging, some signs that your heart may be aging are chest pain during physical activity, lightheadedness, fatigue, headaches and confusion. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you’ll want to be sure to meet with a cardiologist to make sure your heart function is up to par.