More on the “heart age” questionnaire - AF Association

AF Association

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More on the “heart age” questionnaire

19 Replies

The questionnaire, it is stated, is the result of a collaboration between the NHS website, Public Health England, UCL and the British Heart Foundation.

One obvious concern there is no clear definition of “heart age” alongside the questionnaire with the result that quite a few people have the impression that if they have a heart age of, say, 80 when they are actually 70, that that means that their heart is in the same state as that of an eighty year old. However, that is not the case.

The purpose of the questionnaire is plainly a positive one - to motivate people to make lifestyle changes to improve their heart health, but it seems to me that the absence of a clear definition people many people will be made anxious and/or lack confidence in the reliability questionnaire.

If there are any doctors or medical professionals reading this (or anyone from BHF) perhaps they could clarify/ validate the concept of “heart age”?

19 Replies
CarolineRaffan profile image

Bound to say, being the child of parents who both had AF eventually (in old age) plus having a Sister who now has it despite all her cholesterol reducing efforts, my first impulse was to think oh well not much point in a questionnaire like this for us.

Don't think much of the questionnaire. Altered my answers several times and still came up with 95 !!

Brizzy50000 profile image
Brizzy50000 in reply to

Yes mine kept coming up as 92 and I'm 64 so I think I take it all with a large pinch of salt!

in reply to

Yes, I've just done it again and didn't include my actual cholesterol or blood pressure but went with the norm and it still gave me the same answers.

Maril1 profile image
Maril1 in reply to

Makes you wonder how much the NHS waste on these sort of things no wonder they always go over budget. Then again it's better than the new 'pathway' they have introduced in our general hospital of putting plastic bags over elderly patients heads.

wilsond profile image
wilsond in reply to Maril1

Made,me chuckke!!

wilsond profile image
wilsond in reply to wilsond

Chuckle even!

in reply to Maril1

Are you serious???

Maril1 profile image
Maril1 in reply to

It was on the BBC news may have been just the north west a couple of weeks ago just as I was answering another reply. It stated hospital worker had been arrested at Broadgreen gen hos for attempted murder of an elderly patient for sticking a plastic bag over his ,her head. Obviously they have found a new ' pathway ' far more humane than the Liverpool pathway( no food or water and left to die) they use to use and far faster . Be careful next time you visit a hospital don't take anything in ,in a plastic bag and be extremely weary if you see any laying around . It's like putting a gun to the head of any elderly patients in expert hands.

Bmwpaul1971 profile image

It was pointless

momist profile image

When I saw this, I thought "I'm 68 and already know more about my heart than a questionnaire can reveal, so there's no point". I didn't even follow the link . . .

maryjoanC profile image

My husband & I did this and both came up with 95! I tried again but put a much lower date of birth everything else identical. Instead of making my heart age 17 years older than my actual age it scored the heart age as only 5 years older than my mythical date of birth! I think it thinks everyone over 65 has a heart age of 95.!

starry-eyes profile image

It kept telling me my heart age is 75 (I am 60) and would have a stroke in the next 10 years. Didn't matter what the lifestyle factors, it still seems to think I am a write off! Good news - husband thinks it is time to book a cruise before it's too late!

Kaz747 profile image
Kaz747 in reply to starry-eyes

A cruise is always a good idea 😉 Where are you thinking of going?

starry-eyes profile image
starry-eyes in reply to Kaz747

South America and Antarctica. LOL!

Kaz747 profile image
Kaz747 in reply to starry-eyes

Sounds good. We did Alaska 2 years ago. We picked out a South America cruise that we’d planned on doing with a land tour of Peru as well. That’s on hold now with my stupid heart. If I don’t get my AF sorted I doubt we’ll make it to Macau Picchu as I hear AF and altitude don’t mix.

johnMiosh profile image

My figures seem better than most: heart age 60 (I am 55) with stroke or heart attack at 78. Not sure why, but low blood pressure, low cholesterol and BMI of 25.2 could be the reason.

Ten years ago, I was invited into the GP's surgery for a medical assessment; just blood pressure and a health questionnaire. I was given a heart age then of 50; I was very dissappointed, given my level of fitness, thinking that my heart age should be the same or less than as my real age. The nurse reassured me, saying that a heart age of 50 was the lowest she had seen in a 45 year old (in that surgery, it was in quite a poverty stricken area). Her recommendation was to continue doing exactly what I was doing at the time. Ironic, as the exercise I was doing is what caused my AF.

Ten years on, my heart age is only ten years older. Strange given the AF diagnosis, two ablations, and a year of medication including bisoprolol, amiodarone and rivaroxaban. I would have expected that kind of rough treatment to age it considerably more.

I suspect the calculations from either of those questionnaires have little basis in reality for any individual.

CaroleF profile image

Just heard on Radio 4 that the 'More or Less' programme will be considering this on Radio 4 tomorrow (Friday Sept 7th) at 4.30pm. Unfortunately I won't be able to listen but it'd be interesting to get some feedback here.

KMRobbo profile image

It told me i really need to have a blood pressure of 120/80, which is lower than mine was in 2004! However in 2004 i was not categorised as high BP, not even quite " pre hypertention" as it was then categorised at 140/90 I think. I actually managed to reduce mine to 130/82 or something then by losing weight and exercise ( I had piled two stones plus on after stopping playing football) but how they expect me to be even lower than that when i am 18 years older is beyond me.

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