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Health: Do You Know Your 'Heart Age'? You Might Be Shocked

(Photo: fivepointsix, Getty Images/iStockphoto)EEW MAGAZINE NEWS

What if your heart is aging too quickly? What does this mean for your health?

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, on average, American men have a heart age that’s eight years older than their chronological age; women had a heart age five years older than their actual age.

“Because so many U.S. adults don’t understand their cardiovascular disease risk, they are missing out on early opportunities to prevent future heart attacks or strokes,” said Barbara Bowman, director of CDC’s division for heart disease and stroke prevention.

African-Americans were found to have heart ages that were three to four years older than whites, even when researches considered age, income and education.

However, this isn’t just a black issue.

Two-thirds of Americans in general are overweight and one-third are obese.

But something can be done.

About 75% of heart disease and strokes could be prevented or delayed through lifestyle changes, the study said.

Be more aware of what you're putting in your mouth, how much you're getting your body moving and what things you could be doing like drinking and smoking, that could be contributing to the wear and tear of your heart.

USA Today says, study authors calculated heart age by looking at risk factors for heart disease, such as age, excess weight, smoking, diabetes and systolic blood pressure, the top number in a blood pressure reading.

A healthy blood pressure reading is 120 over 80 millimeters of mercury or less, according to the American Heart Association.

Bottom line is, many Americans are not making healthy choices, leading to the premature aging of the heart, resulting in earlier deaths.

"If your heart age is older than your actual age, obviously you are at higher risk," said Martha Gulati, director for preventive cardiology and women’s cardiovascular health at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. 

According to the new study, Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Alabama had the highest percentage of adults with a heart age at least five years more than their actual age, while Utah, Colorado, California, Hawaii and Massachusetts had the lowest percentage.

RELATED: Dr. Kara Davis' spiritual secrets to a healthy heart

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