News

Know your "Heart Age"

Sep 1, 2015

Your heart may be older than you are – and that’s not good. According to a new CDC Vital Signs report, 3 out of 4 U.S. adults have a predicted heart age that is older than their actual age. This means they are at higher risk for heart attacks and stroke.“Heart age” is the calculated age of a person’s cardiovascular system based on risk factor profile. The risks include high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, diabetes status, and body mass index as an indicator for obesity.

  • Overall, the average heart age for adult men is 8 years older than their chronological age, compared to 5 years older for women.
  • Although heart age exceeds chronological age for all race/ethnic groups, it is highest among African-American men and women (average of 11 years older for both).
  • Among both U.S. men and women, excess heart age increases with age and decreases with greater education and household income.
  • There are geographic differences in average heart age across states. Adults in the Southern U.S. typically have higher heart ages. For example, Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Alabama have the highest percentage of adults with a heart age 5 years or more over their actual age, while Utah, Colorado, California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts have the lowest percentage.

U.S. adults can learn their own heart age (calculator) and how to improve it. CDC current feature.

Rutgers University Health Services in Newark provides services such as physical exam, BP check, diabetes and cholesterol testing, and counseling on nutrition and smoking cessation. Contact us.