I am
Show me:
Show me:
One million Aussies take the heart-age test
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

One million Aussies take the heart-age test

Media Release - 14 March 2019

One million Australians have taken the Heart Foundation’s online heart age test, and 79 per cent have been told their ‘heart age’ is higher than their biological age.

Since February, one in 11 Australians aged between 35 – 75 have completed the Heart Age Calculator to understand their own risk of having a heart attack or stroke, and what to do next.

Users answer questions about their age, sex, smoking and diabetes status, height and weight, cholesterol and blood pressure levels and if they take medication to control them, and whether immediate family members have had a history of heart attack or stroke before they were 60.

The calculator provides a heart age, which is an initial indication of a person’s overall risk for heart disease compared to a defined healthy range. A heart age that is older than a person’s biological age indicates increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

The Heart Foundation’s Group CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly, said the results were worrying.

Close to one in six people who did the test had a heart age at least 10 years higher than their real age, suggesting they have a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke compared to the average person their age.

Analysis of a representative sample of more than 50,000 heart age checks reveals:

  • 79% had a heart age greater than their biological age
  • 8% had a heart age equal to their biological age
  • 13% had a heart age lower than their biological age
Professor Kelly said almost one-third of this sample group did not know both their blood pressure and cholesterol readings.

Of those who knew their cholesterol level, two in five had a high total cholesterol level, and of those who knew their blood pressure, one in six had a high systolic blood pressure.

“This is a concern because high blood pressure and cholesterol are two key risk factors for heart disease, they are also silent risk factors so many people could be living with high cholesterol or blood pressure and not know it,” Professor Kelly said.

He said the findings confirmed that Australians needed to do more to protect their heart health.

“Despite advances in treatment, research and prevention, heart disease still kills about 17,500 Australians each year – which equates to around 48 people every day.

“The Heart Age Calculator is helping to educate Australians about the risk factors for heart disease, including blood pressure and cholesterol levels, family history of heart disease, smoking and being overweight.


“It is encouraging that one million Australians have taken personal responsibility to learn more about their risk for heart disease, but this is only the first step.

“We recommend that everyone aged 45 and over - 30 and over for Indigenous Australians - see their GP for a Heart Health Check. Your doctor will help you understand more about your risk factors and will work with you to improve your heart health and lower your risk.”

Australians aged 45 years or older - 30 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples - who have not had a heart attack or stroke are eligible for a Heart Health Check under Medicare.

The Heart Age Calculator, which was launched in February, is designed for people aged 35 to 75 years who do not have heart disease or have not previously had a heart attack or stroke.

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join the Heart Foundation community. Together, we can make a real difference for Australian hearts. ...

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Help make heart disease history!

Help make heart disease history!

Help make heart disease history!

48 Australians die from heart disease every day. You can help save lives....

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Our range of clinical and patient support resources are available for you to use in your daily practice....

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

The fundraising race where you set the pace. Run, jog or walk MyMarathon at your own pace during October....

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Eating healthy foods can help you recover and reduce your risk of more heart problems. ...

How to volunteer with us

How to volunteer with us

How to volunteer with us

Join our volunteers and make a difference to the heart health of Australians....

Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network

Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network

Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network

QCVRN provides a framework to strengthen cardiovascular research in Queensland...

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Clinical information for diagnosis and management of hypertension....

Remember a loved one with a tribute

Remember a loved one with a tribute

Remember a loved one with a tribute

Honour the life of a loved one with a donation to the Heart Foundation. Your donation offers hope for Australian hearts....

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Training Centre

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Training Centre

Training to support identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, in line with standard practice....

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Sit less, move more

Sit less, move more

Sit less, move more

You may be surprised to know that on average, adults sit for nine hours a day....

Long-term recovery after a heart attack

Long-term recovery after a heart attack

Long-term recovery after a heart attack

Information to help you adjust to what could be the 'new normal'...

Active Australia Innovation Challenge

Active Australia Innovation Challenge

Active Australia Innovation Challenge

Make your bright idea a reality....

Baking recipes

Baking recipes

Baking recipes

Find heart healthy baking recipes ...

Smoking and your heart

Smoking and your heart

Smoking and your heart

Understand how smoking can impact your heart health. ...

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in South Australia

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in South Australia

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in South Australia

Help others in need through a gift in your Will

Help others in need through a gift in your Will

Help others in need through a gift in your Will

Ian “did not hesitate” to leave 100% of his estate to the Heart Foundation....

WEBINAR | The future of CVD risk assessment

WEBINAR | The future of CVD risk assessment

WEBINAR | The future of CVD risk assessment

Tue Sep 29 2020
FREE

The Heart Foundation Community

The Heart Foundation Community

The Heart Foundation Community

We need your opinion, experience and skills to help us improve the heart health of all Australians. ...

Italian recipes

Italian recipes

Italian recipes

Find heart healthy Italian recipes....

After being treated for atrial fibrillation, Boyd is now back on track

After being treated for atrial fibrillation, Boyd is now back on track

After being treated for atrial fibrillation, Boyd is now back on track

Running has been an important part of Boyd's life, so imagine his shock when a heart condition he had never heard of threatened to put a stop to it. ...

Vegetarian recipes

Vegetarian recipes

Vegetarian recipes

Search through our vegetarian recipes...

Supporting Your Emotional Wellbeing: An Online Forum for Young Heart Patients

Supporting Your Emotional Wellbeing: An Online Forum for Young Heart Patients

Supporting Your Emotional Wellbeing: An Online Forum for Young Heart Patients

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Search through our tasty salad recipes...

Heart conditions in women

Heart conditions in women

Heart conditions in women

Like men, women can be diagnosed with a range of heart conditions....

Health Professional Ambassador Program

Health Professional Ambassador Program

Health Professional Ambassador Program

Would you like to improve the cardiovascular health of your patients?...