Do you know your heart age?
The Government have recently published figures showing that undiagnosed heart conditions can be a major cause of death in this country. Public Health England have recently launched a campaign that provides resources for people to calculate their heart age. However, it can be alarming to see your heart age without knowing what to do about this. This is why we are encouraged to see a GP to discuss this. Heart age is one factor in understanding the level of risk you may have for heart disease. Knowing your heart age and how to maintain a healthy heart can lower your risks and could prevent early death. But as usual, there is more to it than you might think.
How common is sudden cardiac death?
Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the UK, accounting for an estimated 100,000 deaths each year. This is a particular problem local to Pinches Medical & Wellbeing in the North West, where the incidence of sudden cardiac death is 1 in 1000 people each year, which is twice the rate of the South. The risk of death is highest in people between the ages of 45 to 75 years, and in younger age groups it affects more men than women. But it could affect anyone.
What causes it?
There are many diverse risk factors. These include being overweight, having high blood pressure, smoking and having high cholesterol. Diabetes can increase the risk dramatically even if you do not need insulin. People known to have heart disease will have an increased risk of sudden cardiac death but it can happen to people who have never been diagnosed. This is why the Government are keen for us to know our heart age and discuss risk factors with a GP. The more we know the more we can do about it.
I’m young, why do I need to know about this?
There is a misconception that heart disease can affect only older people. In fact, by the time we are in our 30s, we will all have some thickening of our arteries and the start of clogging with fatty deposits. In some people it is severe enough to cause symptoms already, for others it is silently building up and by the time they develop symptoms the damage is done. Understanding the causes of this and taking steps before it becomes a problem can delay the onset of heart disease and lead to a longer healthier life.
Younger people may have heart abnormalities that they were born with that have not yet been diagnosed. Also, some young people experiment with recreational drugs and this can put them at risk of sudden cardiac death.
The younger you are when you do something about it the more chance you have to influence your risks and improve your life.
What is Pinches Medical & Wellbeing doing about it?
From the week commencing 15th October, we will be offering “Healthy Heart” reviews. This includes a detailed assessment of the important risk factors, checks of your blood pressure, weight, height and a heart tracing (ECG). We can calculate your heart age, which helps you to work out your risk of developing heart disease. We can then give you some tips on how to make adjustments to lower your risks and let you know which other services we offer that may be of benefit to you for maintaining a healthy heart. We can answer your questions and help you to understand the jargon you may have heard on the news recently.
Free Healthy Heart Review!
To launch this new service we are offering these reviews free for the first few weeks, so book now to speak to us about keeping your heart healthy.
For people who have a free review and then wish to pay for blood tests (e.g. to check for diabetes and to measure cholesterol), we will try to organise this on the same visit to save you time. We can then provide a comprehensive “Risk score” that is a much more accurate predictor of your risk of heart disease in the next 10 years.
Please call 01625 704777 to request an appointment for a free Healthy Heart Review