How old is your heart?
You may be 45 but have the heart of a 65-year-old, which could pose risks for your health and your life.
Essentia Health offers a new online tool that gives you valuable information about your heart’s biological age – along with a look at your personal risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
“One of our goals is to engage and empower people,” said Dr. Michael Rich, a cardiologist with the Brainerd Lakes Heart & Vascular Center at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd. “This new online tool can give you the information you need to make important changes for your heart health.”
Go to www.essentiahealth.org/heartvascular. The free survey only takes a few minutes and walks you through simple questions about your age, weight, exercise habits and stress levels. It also asks about your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers.
Based on your answers, the tool calculates your heart’s biological age and your risks for heart and vascular disease. The risk assessment is based on the Framingham Heart Study, a major public health study that began in 1948.
“The simple way to look at this is that everybody’s at risk for heart disease – whether it’s genetics, behavior or just living a long life,” Rich said. “So take advantage of this free tool to get a look at where you are today.”
If your results show that your risk for heart disease is high, Rich recommends talking with your doctor. The tool isn’t meant to replace conversations with your healthcare provider, he said.
“Prevention of heart disease should be the primary goal,” Rich said, explaining simple lifestyle changes, such as increasing your physical activity, can help.
The Brainerd Lakes Heart & Vascular Center at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center is in partnership with CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center.