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Lifestyle: How old is your heart?

04 Apr 2018

Jared, my off-sider at work, tells me he only has so many heart beats and he doesn’t want to waste them. Intelligence is wasted on the young. I try and get him to see that one can increase the number of heartbeats one has in a life through appropriate lifestyle choices, but he thinks he is bullet-proof.

So, you know your physical age. You might be aged 50; you might be aged 60, or more; but, how old is your heart?

I asked this question of Google and there were two web sites that gave me an approximation of my heart age based upon the information I entered.

https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/risk-factors/check-your-heart-age

http://yhf.co.nz/clinical/

The first one from the BHF (British Heart Foundation) asked a number of questions that were pretty straightforward. However, there were some questions that I needed to find before I did the quiz. Do a little digging and your result will be more accurate. You will be asked for your:

  • height (either imperial or metric),
  • weight (either imperial or metric),
  • total cholesterol (TC),
  • HDL cholesterol (‘good’ cholesterol). Work out your cholesterol ratio as well (TC÷HDL) as this is asked for on the second website,
  • your blood pressure (the higher number of 110/70, or pumping pressure, given in mm of Hg). Get the lower second number as well as this is required on the second website.

I gave my Doctor’s receptionist a call to get those numbers.

The British Heart Foundation quiz also asked me for my postal zone which I left blank as I don’t live in the UK and that didn’t seem to matter.

It told me my heart age was 63 which I was pleased about (I am 67). It also told me I was overweight with a BMI of 29.4. I could click on a button to see what my heart age would be if I lost some weight. 62. I had better get onto it!

The second website is from the New Zealand Heart Foundation and Auckland University. It asks the same questions although in slightly different forms and it doesn’t try and give you an actual heart age. It just tells you whether your heart age is higher or lower than your physical age.

The New Zealand website had an extra benefit in that it asked you if you wanted to develop a personalised healthy heart plan. This involves answering a few more questions and as a result you will receive an email every week for six weeks giving you personalised suggestions for improved heart health to put into practice. I signed up as I know I need to lose weight and I’ll take all the help I can get.

Keep asking great questions …

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