This Valentine’s Day Public Health England and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) are encouraging people to find out the age of their loved one’s heart, using the new heart age tool – My Heart Age.
February is Heart Month and an opportunity to raise awareness of heart disease, one of the leading causes of premature death in England.
Over 18,000 people died prematurely from coronary heart disease in 2013. Using the new tool, people can find out the age of their heart by inputting simple lifestyle information such as their weight and whether they smoke and see how this compares to their actual age. They can then take action to improve their health.
The personalised results, combined with the free NHS Health Check, give an opportunity for people to take action to reduce their risk of developing serious but preventable conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and certain types of dementia.
Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, said: “Too many people are dying prematurely from preventable conditions and there is clear evidence that factors like smoking and high blood pressure play a major role in this.
“The heart age tool shows that it is never too late to make healthy lifestyle changes, giving people a chance to see the direct impact these changes can have on their heart’s health.”
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Knowing your risk of developing heart and circulatory disease is crucial to taking control of your health. Armed with this knowledge you can start to make lifestyle changes to help protect yourself against heart attacks and strokes.
“February is Heart Month, so the perfect opportunity to use our new Heart Age Tool, so why not give it a go and start planning the lifestyle changes that will protect your heart?”
Dawn Bail from Bury, North West had her NHS Health Check in 2013 and was shocked by the results. Dawn said; “I knew I wasn’t the healthiest person but being told I was obese and at risk of serious health problems was a real wake-up call.
“Since then I have completely changed both mine and my husband’s lifestyles, going to the gym regularly and having homemade meals. In fact I was actually looking forward to my last check which showed my BMI to be normal and a fantastic low risk of cardiovascular disease.”
The new heart age tool is on the NHS Health Check website which provides information about what happens at the NHS Health Check, when and how to get one, and how to lower your risk.