Maybe your heart is older than you?

Your heart could be older or younger than you. Not literally, but researchers calculate your heart age to determine your cardiovascular health. Your “heart age” is a valuable measure for understanding and assessing your risk of heart disease, heart attack Or stroke based on your risk factor profile.

To determine your heart age at home, you can use an online heart age calculator that takes into account factors such as gender, age, weight, systolic blood pressure (measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats) and health conditions that have a significant impact on your heart age. . While this calculator gives you a general overview of your heart health, it’s best to get your regularly screened heart by a healthcare professional.

Below, we’ll look at the main factors that determine your heart’s age and the lifestyle changes you can make to rejuvenate your heart. You can also check out our guide to find out how healthy your heart is without equipment and how reduce your risk of heart disease.

Factors that determine your heart age

External factors like stress And physical activity can affect your heart age. However, other components such as health conditions also have an impact.


Stress can also contribute to the aging of the heart, as a study on marital stress suggests. Changes in marital quality and cardiovascular risk were closely related in older married couples. Similarly, people going through a divorce may have a higher risk of heart attacks. Johns Hopkins Medicine also states that stress can increase your risk of heart health problems because stress increases inflammation in your body, which in turn can affect blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

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The Mayo Clinic suggests avoiding salty foods and non-heart-healthy foods like processed meats and sugary foods, as these foods can contribute to high blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (also called “bad “). Heart healthy foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and lean proteins like fish and legumes, which help keep your heart in peak shape.

Sleep quality

High blood pressure is one of the main factors determining the age of the heart. But the CDC states that not getting quality sleep increases your overall blood pressure. Indeed, during quality sleep, your blood pressure decreases. If you don’t sleep well or a lot, you may have higher blood pressure for longer, which will put more strain on your heart.

High blood pressure

Blood pressure can have a big impact on the age of your heart. The CDC has listed the case of a 53-year-old woman chronologically. Her biological heart age was 75 because she smoked and suffered from high blood pressure. If I put my regular stats into NYC Health’s heart calculator but adjust my systolic blood pressure to 200, then my heart age changes to 64.

Hypertension is so closely linked to heart age that a National Institute of Health-funded study found that keeping systolic blood pressure below 120 in adults 50 and older can reduce greatly increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and even death.

Physical inactivity

A 2019 study showed that physical activity can contribute to a lower heart age. The Mayo Clinic recommends adding 150 minutes of exercise per week to lower your heart age and reduce cardiovascular risk. Exercise can also directly lower blood pressure, another contributing factor to heart age. Adding physical activity can include anything from indoor workout videos to chores around the house.


Smoking is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease and can greatly affect the age of your heart. If I put in the usual stats with NYC Health’s heart rate calculator but say I smoke, my heart age goes up to 47 this time. You might be thinking, “smoking affects my lungs, what does that have to do with my heart?” A lot. Smoking can increase plaque buildup inside the walls of your blood vessels. Also, the chemicals in cigarette smoke can cause blood clots to form in the arteries. All of this can contribute to an increase in the age of your heart.

High cholesterol

Finally, higher cholesterol levels can also increase the age of your heart. The American Heart Association’s Heart Age Calculator lists LDL and HDL cholesterol as an important factor in determining the age and health of your heart. And the Mayo Clinic also lists cholesterol levels as a health factor in your heart’s age. High cholesterol contributes to the deposit of fatty substances in your blood vessels, which makes it difficult for blood to flow through your arteries.

How to rejuvenate your heart

As noted above, your heart age doesn’t always match your chronological age. You can make lifestyle changes to reduce your heart age. Although your heart is aging physically, younger health practices can help reduce the age of your heart. Here are some tips listed by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Stop smoking
  • Do at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week
  • Adjust your diet to include heart healthy foodssuch as fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes, whole grains, and lean proteins such as white meat, poultry, or fish
  • Limit your salt intake
  • Manage all health issues like blood sugar if you have diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. You can do this by consulting your doctor and establishing a holistic plan that includes nutrition, physical activity, regular screenings, and the right medications.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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