The Health Department today launched the NYC Heart Age Calculator, an online tool to help New Yorkers determine their risk for heart disease and stroke.
The Heart Age Calculator reports risk by giving the user their heart age compared to their actual age. The higher a heart age is compared to real age, the greater the risk of heart disease and stroke. Based on surveys of New York City adults, the average New Yorker has a heart age nearly six years older than their actual age. On average, residents of the Bronx had a heart age 7.2 years older than their actual age, compared to residents of Staten Island (6.9 years), Queens (6.0 years), Brooklyn (5.9 years), and Manhattan (3.8 years). The tool provides resources for managing factors that increase heart disease and stroke risk, such as high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, diabetes, and smoking. It is designed for people ages 30 to 74 who do not have a history of cardiovascular disease.
“New Yorkers are famously young at heart, but heart disease and stroke remain leading causes of death in New York City,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “Using the Heart Age Calculator is a simple, easy first step that lets New Yorkers check on their heart age and takes steps toward heart health.”
“It’s important for my patients and our communities to have clear specific advice on what actions we can take to make a difference in our health,” said Deputy Commissioner Dr. Sonia Angell. “This heart age calculator provides a customized plan to help New Yorkers set and achieve their health goals. Learning your heart age is quick and easy; visit nyc.gov/health/HeartAge on your laptop or phone today.”
The NYC Heart Age Calculator calculates heart age based on answers to eight questions about sex, age, height, weight, blood pressure, if a person takes blood pressure medication, smoking status, and if the person has diabetes. Along with an estimated heart age, the tool provides all users with recommendations to improve their health, including tips to promote healthy eating and active living and resources to help those who smoke cigarettes to quit. It also provides support, such as smoking cessation, ways to stay active, and healthy eating resources.
“The NYC Heart Age Calculator is a wonderful new tool that will tell you your heart health risk in less than a minute. I urge everyone to ‘take the test’ and learn their risk of heart disease. It’s not hard to adjust to a healthy life style by eating the right foods and exercising regularly. Regular trips to the doctor will also help you get on the right track to good health,” said Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz.
“When it comes to taking care of our health, knowledge is power,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “The New York City Heart Age Calculator will not only help New Yorkers understand their risk of heart disease or stroke, it offers concrete recommendations to better their health – as well as relevant free health services in their neighborhoods – to teach New Yorkers that the journey to achieving wellness and longevity can be accessible, proactive and fun.”
The Department also placed 55 blood pressure kiosks in areas with high rates of high blood pressure, including East and Central Harlem, North and Central Brooklyn, and the South Bronx.
People using the calculator should use their latest blood pressure measurement. Those who do not know their blood pressure can get it checked at hundreds of pharmacies in New York City. In March, the Health Department announced a collaboration with chain and independent pharmacies across the city to increase access to free blood pressure checks. The Department identified and added more than 1,200 locations across the five boroughs to the NYC Health Map, an online tool New Yorkers can use to identify different health services available in their communities. The Department also placed 55 blood pressure kiosks in areas with high rates of high blood pressure, including East and Central Harlem, North and Central Brooklyn, and the South Bronx.
To find more resources about high blood pressure, visit nyc.gov/health/HeartAge.