Get Healthy, Carson City: Is your heart older than your age? | NevadaAppeal.com

Get Healthy, Carson City: Is your heart older than your age?

Veronica Galas, RN
Carson City Health and Human Services Clinical Services Director

February is the month for celebrating a connection of heart from one to another. We express love through valentines and chocolate. Phrases like young at heart are used to describe someone whose outlook is seemingly younger than their age. But did you know your heart can be younger or older than your age?

Heart age is the age of your heart and blood vessels based on risk factors for heart attack and stroke. Understand your risk for a heart attack or stroke by learning your “heart age.” The heart of most American adults is older than their actual age.

1 in 2 men have a heart age 5 or more years older than their actual age.

2 in 5 women have a heart age 5 or more years older than their actual age.

About 3 in 4 heart attacks and strokes are due to risk factors that increase heart age (www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/heartage).

The age of your heart depends of factors like:

Your actual age

Diabetes

Smoking

High blood pressure

Total cholesterol

High bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol)

Height compared with weight or body mass index

Watch this short video to learn how factors influence the age of your heart: http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/know-your-risks/heart-age-calculator

Then take the quiz to learn about the age of your heart.

Then take action with through a partnership with your doctor and through lifestyle changes. Your heart will thank you!

High blood pressure: Make control your goal. Work with your doctor or health care provider to review changes in your diet, physical activity, and maybe even medications to help get your blood pressure under control.

High cholesterol: Work with your doctor on a treatment plan to manage your cholesterol. Little changes in your diet and activity level can have a big impact.

Diabetes: Work with your doctor on a treatment plan to manage your diabetes. Many people are not aware of their diabetes risk. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider about your risk factors for diabetes every year.

Tobacco use: If you do not smoke, do not start. If you do smoke, get help to quit. Avoid secondhand smoke. Call the Nevada Quit Line at 1-800 QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)

Unhealthy diet: Eat a healthy diet, low in sodium and trans fats, and high in fresh fruits and vegetables.

Physical inactivity: Get 150 minutes every week of a moderate intensity exercise such as brisk walking. This is about 30 minutes a day for at least five days a week.

Obese: Maintain a healthy weight. Be sure to talk with your health care provider about a healthy weight range for you based on your age, sex and height.

Carson City Health and Human Services urges everyone to take an active role to keep their heart young. For resources and information about department programs and services, check out our website at http://www.gethealthycarsoncity.org, follow us on Twitter at @CCHealthEd, “like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cchhs, follow us Instagram @gethealthycarsoncity, call us at 775-887-2190, or visit us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.