REVEALED: One in 10 middle-aged men have an 'old heart'

Those found to have an “old” heart are at significantly greater risk of coronaries and strokes as well as conditions like dementia, chronic kidney disease and diabetes.

Some 1.2 million people have been tested online with 11 per cent of 50-year-old men having a heart age of a 60-year-old.

Associate Professor Jamie Waterall, of Public Health England, said the online test provides an immediate idea of risk without having to see a doctor.

He added: “If your heart age is high, your risk is higher, however it’s never too late to take action to reduce your heart age.

“We should all aim for our heart age to be the same as our real age, as having a heart age older than your actual age means you are at a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

“Addressing our risk should not be left until we are older.”

Although incidences of cardiovascular disease have been declining in recent years, it is still the main cause of death among men, and the second highest cause of death in women, with an estimated 7,400 people in England dying from heart disease or stroke each month.

Dr Mike Knapton, of the British Heart Foundation, said around half of those taking the test since it launched in February 2015 did not know their blood pressure.

He added: “It’s extremely worrying as these silent conditions can lead to a deadly heart attack or stroke if untreated.

“The test is a quick and easy way to estimate the number of years you will live in good health. The heart is born healthy and you can keep it healthy. There’s no need for the heart to age faster than we do and the sooner you take some simple steps to stop that the better.

“The key three things are: Don’t smoke, and if you do, stop. Take steps to improve lifestyle, keep active – doesn’t have to be sport – but just be more active in general and watch your intake of fat, salt and sugar.”

Alcohol is also a factor. People taking the test entered information such as cholesterol level, blood pressure, medical history and lifestyle habits online.

l The test can be found at www.nhs.uk/oneyou



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