Adults over 40 across Tameside are being encouraged to take a few minutes out of their day to get to know their heart age by taking a free online, ‘Heart Age Test’. The quiz asks physical and lifestyle-related questions, as well as blood pressure and cholesterol, and determines if someone’s heart is at a higher age than their actual age.
Individuals with a heart age older than their actual age are at a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke; the second leading cause of death in the country.
It’s estimated in Tameside that 324 deaths a year from these conditions could be prevented if people have a better understanding of their heart health and make positive changes to some key aspects of their lifestyle such as diet, smoking, alcohol and physical activity.
Each month around 45 people in the area die from heart disease or stroke (540 a year) and 60 per cent of these deaths could be prevented. Addressing these changes in midlife also reduces the risk of dementia.
Modern life can make it tricky to be healthy, but making positive lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. This could be through stopping smoking, making healthier food choices or engaging in physical activity. The heart age test provides advice on how people can achieve these.
Cllr Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council, said: “Tameside has some fantastic services which provide support if you are looking to make lifestyle changes to improve your heart age, such as Be Well Tameside.
“Many GP surgeries in the area have a blood pressure machine in a public space. This allows people to get theirs checked so they can receive the most accurate heart age result, without needing a doctor’s appointment.”
So far, four out of five people taking the test have found they have a heart age higher than their actual age.
The heart age test can be found by visiting the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/check-your-heart-age-tool/.
Anyone taking the test who wants to speak with someone about their results should contact their GP. Individuals can also check if their surgery has a blood pressure machine they can use.
Be Well Tameside, run by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, supports people to make small changes that can have a big benefit to their health and wellbeing. This includes stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol, eating a healthier diet and getting more exercise.
To book an appointment, people can contact Be Well Tameside on 0161 716 2000. Further details are available at www.penninecare.nhs.uk/bewelltameside.
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