My family has a history of heart disease. I lost my paternal Grandmother to heart disease, she was in her 70s, and my father has dealt with cholesterol issues for years. He had what we term a David Letterman heart attack a few years back. He was in excellent shape, at the gym 6-7 days a week, and maintained a healthy diet. But his cholesterol, which he was watching and managing without medication, became a problem. Thus I have had my cholesterol tested bi-annually or annually since my mid 20s.

My husband often tells me that I still have the skin of a woman in her 20s. Which is nice to hear as gravity takes hold in other places. But how well how is my heart aging?

Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for Canadian women. 

As a woman in my mid 40s, with a family history of heart disease, I know I have to do a better job at managing my health. I know that information is power. And there is a lot of information out there to help me. But it is overwhelming. How do I find out the right information? Information tailored to my specific needs? Where should I focus? How many hours do I need to comb through information to find something helpful?

The Canadian Cardiovascular Society recommends calculating your cardiovascular age and knowing your cardiovascular risk profile. Understanding your cardiovascular age of your heart can lead to better health management.

The Heart Age Calculator 

The Heart Age Calculator, found on the Shoppers Drug Mart website,  is an easy to use online tool that helps Canadian calculate their cardiovascular age and assess their risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular disease with in the next 10 years.

The Heart Age Calculator  is the only scientifically validated online tool available that provides a personalized heart age and cardiovascular risk profile as recommended by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Guidelines. So the right information to really help guide you to better health management.

In less than 5 minutes I was able to complete a personalized profile and determine if my heart and arteries are younger than I am. The questions weren't easy. This is a scientific test, not a survey in my favourite magazine. But if you don't know your LDL scores, blood pressure or sugar levels they have some helpful tips on how to answer the questions.

The questions included:

  • age, sex, height, weight, waist measurement
  • cholesterol, blood pressure, sugar levels
  • personal and family heart disease questions
  • exercise and sleep questions

43.2 heart health

The Heart Age Calculator then gives you a 10-year risk.  Overall I am not doing too badly. But when it comes to heart health, slightly above average is not good enough. Clearly time to start paying better attention.

10-year risk

Simple Steps to be Heart Healthy

1. Stop Smoking

I am not a smoker, so this one is easy.

2. Monitor your blood pressure

This is easy to do these days. My local Shoppers Drug Mart has a machine next to the pharmacist. And my Doctor checks it annually as well.

3. Active lifestyle

I am the first to say I am not doing a good enough job. Last year we made a shift to a YMCA membership. I stopped taking Zumba at the local community centre and was supposed to pick up similar classes at the YMCA. Well six months go by and the class times never seem to work out.  So recently I started dropping in once a week, when my little guy is at his singing/dancing class, for some quality time with the elliptical machine. Not my favourite, but it is something. I also bought a bike this year, in the hope that I can start to cycle with my son (who zooms around everywhere in on bike). But I still need to move more.

4. Regulate Your Cholesterol Levels

I am due for my annual check-up in the next month, and will be sure to have my levels checked. If things are out of whack I will work with my Doctor to make a plan to improve my levels.

5. Take Control

I took my first step by taking the Heart Age Calculator test. It’s time to get Heart Healthy and encourage our fellow Canadians to do the same. Let’s get over 10,000 Canadians to start taking care of their heart by taking the Heart Age Calculator test. I did it. Now you can do it!

Frankly I have 1 excellent reason to make sure I protect my heart. He is an adventure seeking six-year-old and I can't imagine him growing up without me around to see every scratch, bruise and broken heart.

TAKE THE TEST

How is your heart health? Take the test, share your score, and your plan to reduce your risk in t he comments. I think together we can help each other to better heart health.

Disclosure - Although this post has been sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart Inc., the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect the views, opinions or positions of Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. or its affiliates or licensees. Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information within this blog post and will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information or for any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.