WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (WBRE/WYOU) — We all know our actual age, but few of us realize parts of our body can age at a different pace. When it comes to your heart, its age can have a significant impact on your quality and quantity of life.
A local hospital chain has come up with a tool to help you find out in a few minutes how your heart is aging and, perhaps, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
It claims about 610,000 American lives each year. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men. The troubling statistic can be explained, in part, because for many of us our heart is aging at a different pace.
“A lot of people don’t pay any attention to their heart or their heart health until after they start having symptoms or even worse after having a heart attack,” said Commonwealth Health Cardiologist Bradley Fenster, MD, Ph.D.
Now there’s a way to help determine your cardiovascular age thanks to Commonwealth Health’s recently launched heart risk assessment tool. All you need is an online connection and five minutes to begin your personal assessment. You’ll fill in basic information like your age, height and weight and family history for heart disease. Then you’ll input other info like smoking habits, exercise, and blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
“You’ll be able to discover areas in which you need to work harder,” Fenster said
After completing the assessment, you’ll receive an email with your results rated low, medium or high risk. If you’re found to have an increased risk, you’ll be encouraged to call your doctor or a cardiologist or one may contact you. And it’s all free.
The results of an assessment like this can be startling. In one that was conducted in the UK, it revealed that ten percent of men aged 50 had the heart of a 60-year-old.
Dr. Fenster said the Commonwealth Health heart risk assessment goal is simple. “Keep people from having to come in with heart attacks or heart failure or other cardiac events.”
It’s important to note the risk assessment does not provide a diagnosis. It’s merely meant to inform you of potential risk based on your answers.