Harvard Heart Letter

How old is your heart?

To use the online heart age calculator, the only numbers you need are your height, weight, and blood pressure reading.

Most Americans are not as young at heart as they might like to believe. More than three in four adults have a "heart age" that's greater than their chronological age, according to federal health officials.

Your heart age depends on your blood pressure reading, smoking history, body mass index (see box, upper right), and whether you have diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the heart age calculator (www.health.harvard.edu/heartage) as a simple way for people to understand their risk of heart attack and stroke.

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