I am
Show me:
Show me:
When you’re 45 but your heart age is 50
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

When you’re 45 but your heart age is 50

Media Release - 15 February 2019

When you’re 45 but your heart age is 50… you face an increased risk of having a heart attack or a stroke, the Heart Foundation warned as it launched its new Heart Age Calculator today. This marks start of a national heart disease brand awareness campaign.

The online tool helps people understand their risk of having a heart attack or stroke by comparing their ‘heart age’ to their actual age. The Calculator helps people understand their own risks and provides advice on what to do next.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2017 an average of 21 Australians every day died from heart attack, while 22 a day died from stroke. Australians of all ages are impacted; more than 30,000 Australians under the age of 55 have had a heart attack that has affected their lives for at least six months.

The Heart Age Calculator is for Australians aged 35 to 75 years who do not have a known history of heart issues. It asks questions about age, sex, smoking and diabetes status, Body Mass Index, blood pressure levels and if they take medication, cholesterol levels, and whether there is a close family history of heart attack/stroke before the age of 60. The answers are analysed to determine if a person’s heart age is above, equal or below their actual age.

Heart Foundation chief medical advisor, Professor Garry Jennings, said, “Alarmingly, one in five Australians aged 45 to 74 have a moderate to high risk for heart attack and stroke in the next five years.
“Don’t wait for a heart attack to be your first sign of trouble. Knowing your risk is the first step towards avoiding a heart attack or stroke.

“The higher your heart age compared to your actual age, the higher your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. If your heart age is greater than your actual age, we advise you to make an appointment with your doctor for a heart health check.

“High blood pressure or high cholesterol are some of the leading risks for heart disease, which remains the biggest killer of Australians. These conditions often have no obvious symptoms, yet they can be a ticking time bomb for people’s heart health. Critically, too few people understand the significant impact these risks have on their heart health.”

Professor Jennings added that close to 40 per cent of Australians aged 18 and over have three or more risk factors which is putting millions at risk of premature death or chronic ill health.

“There’s no one cause for heart disease, but the more risk factors you have, the higher your chance of getting it, and these risks only increase with age,” Professor Jennings said.

“Filling out the Calculator does not replace the need to see your doctor for a Heart Health Check. We recommend having a regular heart health check if you’re 45 years old and over, and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, from 35 years and over.

“The good news is by taking some small steps to change your lifestyle - through eating a healthy, balanced diet, being smoke-free and getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week - you can reduce your risk for heart disease and lower your heart age,” he said.

Take this simple test now to find out your heart age. If you have concerns, please see your doctor for a Heart Health Check.

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.  ...

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. ...

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....

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

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

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Try our Heart Age Calculator to understand what contributes to your risk of heart disease....

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. ...

Absolute CVD risk charts

Absolute CVD risk charts

Absolute CVD risk charts provide a visual tool to calculate CVD risk for use in practice in Australia....

About Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network

About Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network

About Queensland Cardiovascular Research Network

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

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Got a question about your heart?...

Healthy Food Access Tasmania

Healthy Food Access Tasmania

Healthy Food Access Tasmania

We've been working on several projects with local governments across Tasmania, big and small....

Diabetes and heart disease

Diabetes and heart disease

Diabetes and heart disease

Diabetes is an ongoing health condition where your body’s usual ways of controlling your blood sugar, or blood glucose levels, don’t work properly. ...

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

Getting the right balance of fats in your diet can improve your heart health....

Atrial fibrillation resources for patients

Atrial fibrillation resources for patients

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David's heart failure diagnosis led to significant changes in his life....

Blueprint for an active Australia 

Blueprint for an active Australia 

Blueprint for an active Australia 

The Blueprint for an active Australia provides evidence-based actions to help address physical inactivity....

Smart Heart Guidelines App

Smart Heart Guidelines App

Smart Heart Guidelines App

Access to Australian heart disease guidelines is now free at your fingertips...

Lamb recipes

Lamb recipes

Lamb recipes

Find heart healthy lamb recipes....

Blood pressure and your heart

Blood pressure and your heart

Blood pressure and your heart

Understand blood pressure and how it can impact your heart health....

Lessons learned: recovering from open heart surgery

Lessons learned: recovering from open heart surgery

Lessons learned: recovering from open heart surgery

After having five open heart surgeries between the ages of 13 and 41, Peter knows a thing or two about recovery....

Dessert recipes

Dessert recipes

Dessert recipes

Find heart healthy dessert recipes....

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in NSW

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in NSW

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in NSW

A ground-breaking collaboration bringing together for the first time the state’s most eminent cardiovascular researchers...

Get your family moving

Get your family moving

Get your family moving

Get your kids active and set them up for healthier habits into adulthood....

Heart failure resources for patients

Heart failure resources for patients

Educate your patients on everything they need to know about heart failure and managing their condition. ...

Heart attack at 35: Knowing the signs and symptoms

Heart attack at 35: Knowing the signs and symptoms

Heart attack at 35: Knowing the signs and symptoms

David reflects on how his life changed when he had a heart attack at 35 and how he got back on track....

Managing your funding

Managing your funding

Managing your funding

Resources to help manage your grant, scholarship or fellowship....

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Heart-healthy drinks

Heart-healthy drinks

Heart-healthy drinks

While water is clearly the most heart-healthy drink, there are ther drinks that can be enjoyed in moderation. ...

Norm discovered he was at risk of a major heart attack just in the nick of time

Norm discovered he was at risk of a major heart attack just in the nick of time

Norm discovered he was at risk of a major heart attack just in the nick of time

Norm didn’t worry too much about his cholesterol problem – until an angiogram revealed he had an 80 per cent blockage in a major heart artery. ...

Heart Foundation Walking

Heart Foundation Walking

Heart Foundation Walking

Learn more about Heart Foundation Walking and find your local walking group....