comscore CDC study shows Hawaii among states with 'youngest' hearts | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Top News

CDC study shows Hawaii among states with ‘youngest’ hearts

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    In this Thursday, June 6, 2013 file photo, a patient has her blood pressure checked by registered nurse in Plainfield, Vt. Your heart might be older than you are, according to a CDC report released Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2015 which takes a new approach to try to spur more Americans to take steps to prevent cardiovascular disease. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
[ AD HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THIS STORY ]

NEW YORK >> Your heart might be older than you are. A new government report suggests age is just a number — and perhaps not a very telling one when it comes to your risk of heart attack or stroke.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report takes a new approach to try to spur more Americans to take steps to prevent cardiovascular disease. CDC scientists estimated the average “heart age” of men and women in every state, based on risk factors like high blood pressure, obesity, and whether they smoke or have diabetes. Then it compared the numbers to average actual ages.

The report does have some good news for most Hawaii residents. The state has the fourth-lowest proportion of people with a heart age five years or greater. Other states with “young” hearts are Utah (lowest), Colorado (2nd lowest), California (third) and Massachusetts (fifth).

Mississippi has the highest proportion of adults with advanced heart age, followed by West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Alabama. Those states also have higher rates of smoking, obesity, and other heart disease risk factors.

Other results show:

Nearly three out of four U.S. adults have a heart that’s older than the rest of their body, according to CDC calculations.

For U.S. men on average, the predicted heart age was nearly eight years greater than their real age. For U.S. women, it was about five-and-a-half years.

“This is alarming. Heart disease is the nation’s number one killer,” said the report’s lead author, CDC scientists Quanhe Yang.

“But the bottom line is you can do some very simple things” to become younger at heart, he said.

Each year, one in four U.S. deaths is due to heart disease. Many are heart attacks and strokes. The average age of first heart attack is about 64½ for men and 72 for women, according to the American Heart Association.

The nation’s heart disease death rate has been falling thanks to advances in prevention and treatment, including drugs to control blood pressure and lower cholesterol.

But heart disease remains America’s leading cause of death and health officials have been pushing to get more people to control their weight, quit smoking and take other steps to help their heart and blood vessels.

The CDC is leading a “Million Hearts” campaign, launched in 2012 to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. CDC scientists were intrigued by a heart age calculation developed by other researchers conducting a large study in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Some research has indicated that Framingham heart age calculations have resonated more with patients than more conventional medical advice and warnings, so CDC researchers used the Framingham model — and CDC national survey data — to produce the first report on heart age across the nation.

CDC officials released the report Tuesday.

“It gives a stark, simple picture of your future risk of having — or dying from — heart attack or stroke,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.

The estimates were specific to adults 30 to 74 who have not had a heart attack or stroke.

The study also found that for blacks nationally, heart age was 11 years greater than actual age. The gap was much smaller for whites and Hispanics.

On Tuesday, CDC also officials shared the Framingham study’s online heart age prediction calculator for individuals to assess themselves. People have to know their systolic blood pressure — the higher of the two measurements — to generate an estimate.

___

Online:

CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns

Heart age calculator: http://www.framinghamheartstudy.org/risk-functions/cardiovascular-disease/general-cvd-risk-prediction-using-bmi.php

Comments have been disabled for this story...

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up