Apr 1, 2014 – Heart Age

April 1, 2014

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ANCHOR LEAD: HOW OLD IS YOUR HEART? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Heart age is a new method of calculating your risk of a cardiovascular event, just reported in the British
Medical Journal. Michael Blaha, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, says this way of assessing risk may
resonate more with patients than many previous strategies

BLAHA: Doctors have struggled for a long time with how to communicate heart disease risk to their patients, especially for younger patients who might have risk factors, because the short term risk for those patients is low but the lifetime risk is high, so this new calculator tries to emphasize the so-called heart age. Even though you might be young the risk factors may make your heart and your arteries older than you might think. This is a way of communicating with patients their risk. If you say to a 35 year old you have the heart of a fifty or sixty year old, that gets their attention. :27

Blaha says coronary calcium scanning can also be used to demonstrate risk to someone who is chronologically younger but does have risk factors. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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