Four out of five adults in the UK have prematurely aged hearts and stand at higher risk of a cardiac arrest or stroke, according to the online Heart Age Test.
Public Health England conducted the test on 1.9 million people. It was observed that 78% of this group had a heart age higher than their actual age.
More specifically, 34% of those people were found to have a heart age of more than five years older and 14% had at least ten years over their actual age.
The online test is designed to ask various simple physical and lifestyle questions to provide an immediate estimation of someone’s heart age.
According to PHE, people with heart age higher than their actual age are at more risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
PHE cardiovascular disease national lead Jamie Waterall said: “Knowing your heart age is a simple way of finding out whether you’re at risk of a heart attack or stroke.
“Taking a Heart Age Test is something you can easily do at home, but it could be one of the most important things you do to help you live a healthy longer life.”
The PHE has urged adults over the age of 30 in the country to take the free test.
Apart from predicting cardiac attack risk, the test also offers suggestions on lifestyle changes to decrease the heart age, such as weight loss, regular exercising and limited alcohol.
NHS England cardiovascular disease prevention national clinical director Matt Kearney said: “The heart age test is a simple and effective online device with the potential to help millions of people.
“The long-term plan for the NHS will prioritise saving lives through improved protection against cardiovascular disease, and increased public understanding of the risks of stroke and heart disease will mean fewer people have to face these devastating conditions.”