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Is your heart older than you are?

Published in Heart & Vascular, For the Health of It Author: Kathleen Mahon, RN, MN, CNP, APHN

A recent study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that three out of four U.S. adults aged 30 to 74 have hearts that are “older” than their chronological age. What does that mean? The age of your heart and blood vessels is based on certain risk factors for heart disease — blood pressure, weight, smoking and diabetes.

According to the CDC, Minnesota men have hearts that are 6.9 years older and women’s hearts are 3.8 years older. You can determine your heart’s age through an online calculating tool.

If you aren’t thrilled with your results, don’t lose heart. You can improve your heart health:

  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat a healthy diet (low sodium and trans fats).
  • Exercise regularly — at least 150 minutes every week of moderate exercise.
  • Keep your blood pressure under control.
  • Manage your cholesterol.
  • Control your diabetes.

To help you make lifestyle changes, talk to your health care provider or make an appointment with the Women@Heart Project, 320-240-7841.