The British Heart Foundation has teamed up with the NHS to bring a new way to check your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
You can find the test by clicking here.
It is, I suppose, a useful way to educate people about the dangers of not living a healthy lifestyle but I have to say, I take the test with a pinch of salt (even though I know salt is bad for blood pressure).
I took the test today and found my heart age 3 years more than my actual age. This is despite living a pretty healthy life. The test asks me about family history and this would have aged my heart for sure. But it didn’t ask how I eat nor did it ask about my exercise routine. And because I didn't know my cholesterol level the test makes an assumption that it's average.
So it’s a very rough indication in my book, full of uncertainties, and people shouldn’t be too worried about it if they find their heart age older than they were expecting.
The central message, however, is the one we have heard over and over again. To keep a healthy heart you have to lose weight, drink less alcohol, exercise regularly, keep your cholesterol and blood pressure levels down. And enjoy life. Ok, they never do say that last bit but it seems to me if you laugh a lot and love life, you will be bound to live longer than if you are miserable. It’s all a question of heart, you see, and those with a big heart will live a more fulfilled life.