Three out of four American adults ages 30-74 have “heart ages” that are older than their actual age – an average of eight years for men and five years for women, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday. Arkansas was among the states with the highest average heart ages.
A person’s heart age is calculated based on their risk factor profile, including high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, diabetes and obesity. Americans with advanced heart ages are at higher risks for heart attacks and strokes.
This is the first study to examine heart ages at the population level. Researchers with the CDC collected data from every U.S. state. The study was released in the CDC’s monthly Vital Signs report.
Arkansas was among a group of 10 states where 48-56.5% of adults have a heart age that is at least five years older than their actual age. The five states with the highest percentages are Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Alabama.
The states with the lowest percentages are Utah, Colorado, California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts.
The study found that heart ages typically are higher in the South, among African-Americans (an average of 11 years older for both men and women) and among those with less education and household income.