Heart disease and stroke lead to 7,000 UK deaths every month and are the two main forms of cardiovascular disease, which is the second leading cause of death in the country, and the leading cause of death for men. However, over 50 of these deaths per day could be prevented by addressing important risk factors smoking, obesity and high blood pressure.
That’s why Warwickshire County Council is encouraging residents across the county to find out if their heart is older than they are with the Heart Age Tool. The request is coinciding with ‘Know Your Numbers!’ week (10-16 September), Blood Pressure UK’s flagship awareness week.
You can take the test at www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/check-your-heart-age-tool/
Lifestyle-related factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as smoking, poor diet, excessive body weight and a lack of exercise can increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. To increase awareness of heart health and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, Public Health England’s (PHE) Heart Age campaign is encouraging adults to complete the One You Heart Age Test . Available to do quickly and easily, the Heart Age Test will let users know how old their heart is (in comparison to their physical age) in under three minutes. It also provides them with tips on how they can lower their heart age as ways to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Blood pressure tests will be available at ‘pressure stations’ throughout the week.
Talking about the request, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health said: “While we are now living longer, the number of years of healthy life expectancy is not increasing. It is so important for people to understand their personal risk factors and take steps to living a healthier lifestyle if needed. Both the Heart Age Tool and Know Your Numbers! are a fantastic easy first step to doing this, so I would urge everyone to take a few minutes from their day and take the quick online test.
“Additionally, free NHS Health Checks are available for all 40-64 year olds through GP practices. If you have been offered a Health Check, please do take up the offer as any potential issues cannot be tackled until they are understood.”
If you do have any concerns about your heart health, here are nine steps you can take to lower your risk:
- Get checked. Ask your Doctor about having a health check to assess your risk of developing heart disease.
- Stop smoking, now!
- Get moving.
- Lose weight if you need to.
- Your shape matters as well as your weight, if you have excess fat around your middle (apple shape) you are at higher risk of heart attack.
- Drinking a little alcohol regularly may be good for your heart, but make sure you stay within the recommended limits.
- Balance your diet.
- Cut down on salt.
- Manage your stress
To find out more information and check your heart age please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/check-your-heart-age-tool/