Americans’ Hearts Are Aging Faster Than Their Bodies. Here’s Why


A new report from the CDC says that 3 out of 4 U.S. adults have a predicted heart age that’s older than their actual age. Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.—and worldwide—this is something everyone should stand up and take notice of.

“Heart age” is the calculated age of a person’s cardiovascular system. It’s based on his or her risk factor profile, including things like high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes status, and body mass index as an indicator for obesity.

“Too many U.S. adults have a heart age years older than their real age, increasing their risk of heart disease and stroke,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.  “Everybody deserves to be young—or at least not old—at heart.”

Specifically, the average heart age for adult men is 8 years older than their chronological age, compared to 5 years older for women. And African-American men and women have the highest heart age—an average of 11 years older for both.

Heart age differences are also seen across the states. For example, Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Alabama have the highest percentage of adults with a heart age 5 years or more over their actual age. Utah, Colorado, California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts have the lowest percentage.

The report also noted that nearly 69 million adults between the ages of 30 and 74 have a heart age older than their actual age.

“Because so many U.S. adults don’t understand their cardiovascular disease risk, they are missing out on early opportunities to prevent future heart attacks or strokes,” said Barbara A. Bowman, Ph.D., director of CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention.

“About three in four heart attacks and strokes are due to risk factors that increase heart age, so it’s important to continue focusing on efforts to improve heart health and increase access to early and affordable detection and treatment resources nationwide,” she adds.

The CDC has set up a website where you can learn your heart age and receive tips on how to improve it.

SOURCE: Most Americans’ hearts are older than their age. Press Release. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sept 2015.

This article was republished with permission from

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