We’re just a week away from Valentine’s Day and doctors at a Portland area hospital want you to think beyond the candy-coated hearts.
They’re asking you to look at your lifestyle and ask, “how old is my heart?” The number doesn’t always match your true age.
“I’m 54 and I have the heart of a 36-year-old,” said Dorane Wintermeyer. She got the good news after taking an online assessment offered by Adventist Health.
“What we find is that even though awareness is increasing there’s still about half of women who don’t know that heart disease is their number one health risk,” explained Dr. Katherine Strelich at Northwest Cardiovascular Institute.
She went on to say one in four women die from heart disease.
A year ago, Dorane worried cholesterol might put her at risk so she adjusted her exercise routine and diet.
“I put in more fruits and vegetables and took out some dairy and cheese.”
The online assessment calculates your heart age using your weight, blood pressure, family history, cholesterol level and other factors.
“If you’re 45 and smoke and are overweight, your heart age is going to be higher than an average person,” remarked Strelich.
In addition to the age of your heart the test results also offer advice about reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Exercise for 30 minutes every day might be a recommendation.
“These are the things that we can do before the heart attack happens so that I don’t see you in the emergency room,” said Strelich.
Dorane knows the importance of making change.
“I’m a grandma and I want to be healthy. The things I’ve done over the past year have had an impact on my heart’s age,” she said.