A new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that three quarters of Americans have a heart age more advanced than their chronological age.
Researchers from the CDC have found that three (3) in four (4) US adults are not as old as their hearts are, meaning that they are in even more danger of experiencing heart attacks and / or strokes.
The researcher team determined each subject’s heart age by accounting for their chronological age and their body mass index (BDI), as well as several risk factors that are known for leading to heart attacks and strokes – smoking status, diabetes status and high blood pressure levels.
They looked at subjects from all 50 states and subjects participating in the Farmingdale Heart Study. After examining the data, the researchers came to the realization that around 69 million American adults have a heart age more advanced than their chronological age. The ages of the subjects ranged from 30 to 74.
Dr. Tom Frieden, director from the CDC, offered a statement informing that “Too many U.S. adults have a heart age years older than their real age, increasing their risk of heart disease and stroke”. He then added that “Everybody deserves to be young – or at least not old – at heart”.
When Dr. Frieden and his colleagues looked at men and women separately, they noticed some interesting differences. First, half of the male subjects had a heart age more advanced than their chronological age, while only two (2) in five (5) female subjects had a heart age more advanced than their chronological age.
Secondly, male subjects had a heart age that was more advanced than their chronological age by 7.8 years, whereas female subjects had a heart age that was more advanced than their chronological age by only 5.4 years.
While this pattern was found in subjects of all ethnic and racial groups, the research team did notice that African Americans had the biggest number of people with a heart age more advanced than their chronological age.
Even more differences could be observed when the CDC started analyzing the results from a geographical point of view. The most advanced heart ages were generally found in subjects living in the South.
Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama and West Virginia had the biggest number of adults with a heart age more advanced than their chronological age.
On the opposite end, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Utah, Colorado and Conversely had the smallest number of adults with a heart age more advanced than their chronological age.
But the CDC researchers don’t want people to feel powerless. They stressed that we can all to take steps to improve our heart age and diminish our chances of experiencing a heart attack and / or a stroke.
For starters, it’s always a smart idea to ask your doctor for advice. Health professionals can teach us what diets to follow to improve our health, what we need to do to quit smoking, and how to manage our blood pressure levels.
The report was published earlier this week, on September 1, 2015, in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published by the CDC.
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