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Have you heard of a term called ‘heart age’? This term says that your heart might be older than you actually are. A person who is 30 years old can have a heart age of 35 years!
After believing this term, health bosses have been scaring people into believing they could suffer an early heart attack or stroke.
A campaign called Public Health England was launched a few days back, which urged people to get an online heart age test. They warned that ‘four out of five people have a heart age higher than their actual age’.
Promoting the campaign, PHE tweeted, ‘Did you know, having a heart age older than your actual age means you are at a greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke?’
But the scientists believe that the concept, Heart Age Test is totally ridiculous and evidence free.
According to the online tests, you are required to enter your cholesterol levels and blood pressure readings, which people don’t know generally. So, the test calculates an individual’s heart age using information the person has given including date of birth, height, weight, known health conditions and family history of cardiovascular disease.
In this way the test generates reports that are worse than the actual case of the person.
A spot test by a 43-year-old male gave a heart age of 41 when he entered all his details including cholesterol and blood pressure. When he omitted these readings, his heart age shot up five years to 46.
Professor Jamie Waterall, PHE’s national lead for cardiovascular disease prevention, dismissed the criticism.
He said there was ‘no evidence to suggest’ the test would create extra demand for GPs, adding: ‘What we have seen is a big increase in people accessing lifestyle information, which is fantastic.
‘High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two major causes of heart attack and stroke but millions don’t know they are affected, so the test encourages anyone that doesn’t know their blood pressure and cholesterol levels to find out.
‘The Heart Age Test has strong clinical and academic support as it is based on guidelines from Joint British Societies recommendations on the prevention of cardiovascular disease.’
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Author: Akshita Jain
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