Monday June 24, 2019

Know Your ‘Heart Age’ to Avert Attack

Patients who were told their Heart Age were far more likely to take action to live healthier lifestyles, such as quitting smoking

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Heart Disease
Even low exposure to arsenic, lead may up heart disease risk. Pixabay

You are more likely to adopt healthy lifestyle if you know your ‘Heart Age’ rather than just knowing the “chances” of your developing a cardiovascular disease, claims a study.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world’s biggest killer, but doctors have long struggled to explain risk factors to patients in a way that encourages them to change their behaviour — thus reducing risk.

Risk scores for diseases such as CVD are usually presented as a “percent chance” of contracting the disease within the next 10 years.

Researchers at the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain, carried out the study amongst 3,153 patients, who were randomly assigned to one of three groups before completing an annual health assessment.

One group was then presented with their chances of contracting CVD expressed as a “percentage risk”, while another received the same information expressed as their estimated “Heart Age”.

electrocardiogram
Representational image. Pixabay

A third control group only received general guidance on healthy living. Follow-up measurements were recorded a year later during the subsequent annual health assessment.

Patients who were told their Heart Age were far more likely to take action to live healthier lifestyles, such as quitting smoking.

“We know that traditional risks scores can be confusing. We wanted to test whether using the Heart Age Calculator to talk to patients about their CVD risk would have an effect on motivating them to adopt healthier lifestyles and, in turn, reduce their risk of developing CVD,” said Pedro Tauler, the lead author of the study.

Also Read: Smokers Lack Motivation, Get Tired Easily

The results showed that patients who had been told their CVD risk (both as a percentage or Heart Age) demonstrated significant decreases in their risk scores compared to the control group, with improvements being greatest in the Heart Age group.

Quitting rate for smokers was four times greater in the Heart Age group compared to those who received the traditional percentage risk scores.

“This would suggest that the mere fact of presenting the patients with information that is easy to understand has a positive effect in engaging them to take preventive action,” said Tauler. (IANS)

Next Story

US Doctor Saves Person’s Life Using Apple Watch; Detects Deadly Heart Condition

The key health feature on Apple Watch is yet to arrive in India

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apple watch
The irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch can check heart rhythms and send a notification if an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be atrial fibrillation (AFib) is identified. Pixabay

In a first, a US doctor has saved a person’s life by using Apple Watch Series 4 on his wrist to detect atrial fibrillation at a restaurant. Atrial fibrillation, a deadly and often undiagnosed condition, can lead to strokes. The condition often remains hidden because many people do not experience symptoms.

The irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch can check heart rhythms and send a notification if an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be atrial fibrillation (AFib) is identified.

“As a physician, it’s much faster to put my #applewatch4 on someone else’s wrist to detect disease (A. fib) than finding a ECG machine at a public restaurant!

Apple watch
The key health feature on Apple Watch is yet to arrive in India. Pixabay

(Indeed, a true #mhealth guardian),” tweeted Tommy Korn MD, and ophthalmologist from San Diego, California. In the replies to his tweet, Korn said that the person diagnosed with A-fib was later doing fine.

ALSO READ: Apple Watch Can Detect And Notify Users Irregular Heart Rhythms

Apple Watch Series 4 is now helping users in the US, Europe and Hong Kong take an electrocardiogram (ECG) right from their wrist, capturing heart rhythm in a moment when they experience symptoms like a rapid or skipped heart beat and helping to provide critical data to physicians. The key health feature on Apple Watch is yet to arrive in India. (IANS)