Americans' hearts are older than their age, report says - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Americans' hearts are older than their age, report says

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(MGN photo) (MGN photo)

A new report suggests that many Americans’ hearts are older than they think.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that heart disease still holds the title as the leading cause of death among Americans.

“The CDC's goal for 2020 is to get the risk of Americans down, their risk for heart disease down,” said Dr. Paul Thompson, chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital.

Scientists recently used a formula to calculate the average “heart age” of men and women between the ages of 30 and 74.

“This age is calculated by looking at such things as blood pressure, your body weight [and] hypertension,” Thompson said.

Thompson explained the findings.

“What it turned out is, if you look at individuals under the age of about 74, that [for] men their heart age is about 8 years older than their chronological age,” he said. “And women are about 5 years older than their chronological age.”

That means three out of four U.S. adults have a heart that’s older than the rest of their body.

However, Thompson said not to worry.

“Don't get freaked out by it,” he said. “And the reason why you don't want to get freaked out by it is this is an estimate and it's just a way to motivate people to take better care of themselves.”

Thompson said that can be done by losing weight, getting blood pressure under control, taking care of diabetes and becoming smoke-free.

In addition to living healthier, Thompson said new cholesterol-lowering drugs could help make hearts younger.

“The most earth shattering thing that has happened is the release of these new drugs called: PCSK9 inhibitors,” he explained. “They basically knock the socks off your cholesterol [and] can lower it 80 percent or more.”

To calculate the age of a heart, click here.

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