Our actual age doesn’t necessarily represent our true physiological age, and our actual age definitely doesn’t always transfer through to the way we look! But above all of this, nothing really comes close (in terms of significance) to the way we feel within ourselves. Despite this, no matter how well we feel within ourselves, our bodies organs may be saying something different.
Doctors are now saying that people should be encouraged to find out what their actual heart age really is in order to reduce their risk of heart disease, stroke and heart attacks. To do this Doctors have compiled a new risk calculator called the JBS3 which is easily accessible to all medical staff, and is an up to date version of the current Framingham risk calculator.
The JBS3 has the benefit of:
- Being easily accessible
- Able to accurately assess risk of a major cardiovascular incident such as a stroke or heart attack
- It is of use to younger adults who previously may not have been suited to the Framingham risk calculator
- It is also a long term predictor of risk despite not presenting with short term risk factors
The JBS3 is key to assessing risk in people whose short term risk factors may be low, but the long term (chronic) potential of having a cardiovascular event increases significantly in the future because of current lifestyle choices. This is important for a young generation that runs the risk of suffering significant cardiovascular complications in the future because of the ‘binge’ attitude to alcohol and junk food.
Estimates heart age and heart disease risk
The calculator estimates a persons ‘heart age’ because ones heart does not necessarily match the physical condition of their actual age, nor their physical exterior. It even estimates the number of years someone can hope to go without experiencing heart issues. Not only does it estimate risk, but it also shows the benefits associated with making positive changes to ones lifestyle such as stopping smoking, or reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. On top of this, the JBS3 even exhibits the effects of delaying the changes necessary to reduce the onset!
The JBS3 to become major part of NHS Health Check Plan
People with a greater risk of heart disease and stroke i.e. those with a family history, overweight, or Diabetics (for example) are encouraged to look after their health, this includes eating healthily, participating in regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight in relation to their height. Needless to say this recommendation goes for the general public too, but is even more pertinent for someone with a predisposition. The use of the JBS3 becomes even more relevant for people over the age of 40 years. The JBS3 gets its name from the society that formulated it – the Joint British Societies (JBS) – as well as numerous charities involved with the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
One of the JBS3’s developers states that one of its main aims is to identify the “sizeable” number of people who are at low short term risk but high lifetime risk, of CVD. It aims to help both patients and health professionals better understand cumulative lifetime risk and what can be done to lower it.
NHS Choices, (2014). Doctors launch new tool to measure your ‘heart age’. Retrieved 1st April, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/03March/Pages/Doctors-launch-new-tool-to-measure-your-heart-age.aspx