Help Prevent Heart Attack- Express Health

Everybody over the age of 30 is invited by the NHS to calculate their heart age.

The NHS explains: “Your heart age gives you an idea of how healthy your heart is.”

By asking numerous questions, not only will you find out your heart’s age and status, tips will be shared to improve its health.

The only condition is that you “do not have a condition that affects your heart or blood vessels” before taking the enlightening online quiz.

Conditions that prohibit the use of the quiz include:

  • Coronary heart disease (angina or heart attacks)
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral arterial disease.

If this is given the all-clear, four of the main details you would have to input include your:

  • Weight
  • Height
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol.

A caveat is that people can use the quiz if they don’t know their blood pressure or cholesterol levels, but “the results will be less accurate”.

In less than 10 minutes people can find out whether their heart is in good shape or not.

Some of the questions include knowing your health status, such as if you have been diagnosed with:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Atrial fibrillation.

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The test results reveal your risk of developing heart disease and your expected longevity.

For example, certain responses mean that, on average, “people giving these responses live to the age of 79 without having a heart attack or stroke”.

The NHS calculator estimates the risk of having a heart attack or stroke within the next 10 years.

Factors that influence such a risk include:

  • If you smoke
  • Obesity.

To improve your heart health, it’s helpful to:

  • Not smoke
  • Have a healthy weight
  • Eat healthily
  • Know your cholesterol levels
  • Know your blood pressure.

The health body says: “Stopping smoking is the single biggest change you can make for your health.

“One year after stopping, your heart attack risk is half that of a smoker.”

As for a healthy body weight, it’s recommended to keep weight within the body mass index (BMI) range of 18.5 to 25.

The NHS explains: “BMI is a measure of whether you’re a healthy weight for your height.

“Having a BMI above 25 would put you at risk of serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.”

Healthy lifestyle practises for the heart involve:

  • Losing weight
  • Cutting back on salt
  • Exercising regularly
  • Drinking less alcohol and caffeine.

People aged 40 and above will be invited for an NHS Health Check at least every five years.

Some pharmacies, however, do offer tests to reveal cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

“Evidence suggests that taking care of your heart health when you’re younger can make a significant difference to your heart health in later years,” the NHS adds.

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