Bad News: Your Ticker Is An Old Fogey Even If You Aren’t, Says CDC Heart Age Report

Frank Sinatra’s famous tune will need to be rewritten, because it turns out the vast majority of Americans are quite old at heart.

The CDC is the bearer of bad news yet again, revealing in a new report that three out of four Americans have thumpers that are older than they are. This is the first study of its kind, Reuters reported.

This calculation was based on the prevalence of smoking, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, as well as actual age and body mass index of participants, CBS News added.

In a frightening stat, the report found that 69 million Americans aged 30 to 74 have an old ticker. The average age for men is eight years older, and for women is five. The startling number encompasses half of all men and two in five women — and that’s not good at all, said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.

“Too many U.S. adults have a heart age years older than their real (one). Everybody deserves to be young — or at least not old — at heart.”

The report was created using risk factor data from every state in the U.S., and information gleaned from the huge Farmingdale Study. The report also pinned down certain demographics, which have the oldest hearts in the country. African-American men and women have an 11-year discrepancy, the CDC found.

And people in the south — specifically Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Alabama — had the oldest hearts of any other region. Those with the youngest hearts lived in Utah, Colorado, California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts.

If you want a big scare, use Farmingdale’s calculator for yourself, and see just how ancient your ticker is. It’s well worth the time.

“Because so many U.S. adults don’t understand their cardiovascular disease risk, they are missing out on early opportunities to prevent future… attacks or strokes,” said Dr. Barbara A. Bowman.

Now that the CDC has thoroughly frightened the nation with these unsettling statistics, the question is: what can we do about it?

For one thing, stop smoking and get your high blood pressure under control. The agency also pinned some responsibility on individual states and health care providers, who should help people be healthy by providing places to go for walks safely, healthy food, and adding tobacco-free public areas.

“It is never too late to turn back the clock on your heart age,” Frieden said.

[Photo Courtesy Sebastian Kaulitzki/Shutterstock]