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Heart age for 11% of men aged 50 is 10 years older

Having an “old” heart significantly increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes as well as other serious health issues.

One in 10 middle-aged English men are at least a decade younger than their hearts, a study has shown.

The discovery that 60 is the new 50 for the male heart was made after 1.2 million men and women volunteered to be tested as part of a Public Health England health campaign.

Around 11% of the 50-year-old male participants were found to have a heart age 10 years older than they are.

Having an “old” heart significantly increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes as well as other serious health issues such as dementia, chronic kidney disease and diabetes. Each month an estimated 7,400 people in England die from heart disease or stroke.

Associate Professor Jamie Waterall, lead for cardiovascular disease prevention at Public Health England (PHE), said: “We should all aim for our heart age to be the same as our real age. Addressing our risk of heart disease and stroke should not be left until we are older.”

He said the Heart Age Test used in the study provides an immediate idea of heart attack and stroke risk without having to see a doctor.

The PHE test is an online assessment available to anyone over the age of 30 based on health information such as cholesterol level and blood pressure, medical history, and lifestyle habits. It calculates whether your heart is as healthy as would be expected for a person of your age.

The latest version of the test forms part of PHE’s One You campaign, run in partnership with the British Heart Foundation, Stroke Association and Blood Pressure UK, that aims to help people improve their heart health.

Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “The Heart Age Test is a quick and easy way to estimate the number of years you will live in good health. If you are concerned by the age of your heart, make an appointment with your GP.”

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