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How old is your heart? Take this quick test

How healthy is your heart? One in 6 Australians are living with heart disease and it is the leading cause of death in the country.   

To help us understand our risk, Heart Foundation Australia, has developed the Heart Age Calculator.

It’s a clever three-minute test designed for people 35 – 75 without a heart disease diagnosis. It asks questions like your age, height, weight, blood pressure and cholesterol and calculates a ‘heart age’ result. 

If the result is younger than your actual age, it’s good news. If it is older than your actual age, it could mean you are at higher risk of heart attack or stroke. After taking the test, you’ll also find out how to improve your heart age.  

The calculator is an easy test and a great way to get us thinking about our heart health, but if you have any major concerns we suggest you visit your GP for a full check up.  

Take the test

What can you do to reduce your risk of heart disease?  

If your heart age is older than your actual age, or you just want to maintain a healthy heart, following our top 5 tips for a healthy heart may help.  

  1. Choose healthy fatsHealthy fats supply valuable fatty acids that help nurture your body and brain and help you absorb important fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A,D,E,K. Try including more unsaturated fats and omega 3s – from avocados and nuts for example – and reduce your saturated and trans fats – from things like fatty meats, processed pastries, cakes and pies – to help reduce your risk of developing heart disease.  

  2. Eat a variety of fruits and veg each day – Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables each day is important for heart disease prevention. Along with valuable fibre, fruits and vegetables have important antioxidants and phytochemicals which help to protect your heart. 

  3. Go for wholegrains Wholegrains are packed with fibre and essential nutrients, making them excellent choices for heart health. Try swapping refined grains for whole grains like wholegrain cereals, brown grainy breads, rolled oats, brown rice and pasta, pearled barley, quinoa, buckwheat and sorghum. 

  4. Reduce your salt – High salt intake can increase your heart disease risk by increasing your blood pressure levels. Try limiting the amount of salt you add to your food or making the switch to potassium enriched salt or other alternatives. Remember to read food labels carefully to check for added salt.  

  5. Get active Exercising for at least 30-40 minutes a day increases your HDL ‘good’ cholesterol, heart health, energy and mood. The extra activity will help you maintain a healthy weight further improving your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and reducing inflammation resulting in a healthier heart.  

    For more tips on heart health read our article Top 12 tips for a healthy heart and visit our Healthy Heart Hub.