Your Heart May Be Older Than You Are

Heart Age, a free Web-based tool owned by consumer-goods maker Unilever, ULVR.LN -0.97% combines various risk factors, such as body weight, cholesterol and smoking habits, to estimate a biological age for the heart. The result is framed relative to a person’s chronological age. The researchers on the Spanish study, published in the February issue of the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, aren’t affiliated with Unilever.

Cooking with Kathy Man

We all know we should eat healthier, exercise more and sometimes take medicines to stave off heart disease. Some researchers think putting an age on our hearts will do a better job of motivating us to do all that.

In a recent study involving 3,000 patients, researchers in Spain compared a relatively new tool to measure heart-disease risk, called Heart Age, against a commonly used risk-assessment tool. Participants who were told their heart age was greater than their chronological age showed bigger health improvements a year later than those in the comparison group. Both groups were healthier after a year than a control group that received conventional advice about nutrition and exercise.

A checkup at the doctor, of course, may alert patients when blood pressure and cholesterol levels, among other risk factors, are too high. And a number of statistical tools let patients know when they are at moderate-to-high risk…

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Filed under heart, heart disease, ideal weight

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