CDC Introduces “Heart Age” Calculator

Young woman sitting on the floor meditating at home, holding her hands over her heart with eyes closed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta has unveiled a new tool called Heart Age, a calculator that helps people find out more about their risk for heart disease. The tool indicates whether your heart’s age is younger or older than your actual age. It’s like the RealAge Test, taken by more than 40 million people, which reveals the same type of information -- only about your entire body.

Heart Age is very easy to use: You just need to enter your age, sex, blood pressure, whether you are treated for high blood pressure, whether you smoke or have diabetes, and your body mass index (with a handy calculator if you don’t know it). The tool gives you your risk for heart disease in the next ten years, compared with normal.

Three out of four US adults have a “heart age” older than they are, according to a CDC press release. In fact, the average heart age for men is eight years older than their actual age. For women, it’s five years older. That means these men and women at increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and other consequences of heart disease, which remains he most important public health threat in the US.

That being said, the CDC test is very good. Blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and weight are all important risk factors that it takes into account. Both the Heart Age calculator and Sharecare’s Heart RealAge Test are powerful tools that can give a more complete view of your heart health.

Keith Roach is Sharecare’s chief medical officer and co-creator of the RealAge® Test.

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