How old is your heart?

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You know how old you are, but do you know how old your heart is? What about your clients' employees?

To coincide with the launch of its nationwide Blood Pressure Awareness Day on February 9th, Shoppers Drug Mart is offering Canadians the opportunity to accurately find out how old their heart really is through a unique online tool called the Heart Age Calculator.

Your clients' employees may feel young at heart but a heart and arteries can be aging faster than they expect. By answering simple lifestyle questions, the Heart Age Calculator helps employees calculate their cardiovascular age and assess their risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years.

Created by the research team of Dr. Steven Grover, director of the McGill Cardiovascular Health Improvement Program (CHIP) at McGill University Health Center in Montréal, 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.

The Canadian Cardiovascular Society recommends calculating your cardiovascular age and maintains that knowing your cardiovascular risk profile improves management of blood pressure and blood lipids.

Laura Weyland, Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist has the following tips for employees to be S.M.A.RT. for their hearts:

  • Stop Smoking: After you quit smoking, your risk of a heart attack starts to drop after only 2 days. After one year, your risk of heart disease will be just half of what it was when you were a smoker.
  • Monitor your Blood Pressure: High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. The higher your blood pressure is, the higher your risk of heart disease.
  • Apply an Active Lifestyle: If you do not get enough exercise, your risk of heart disease doubles. Getting active will combat the number one risk factor for heart disease.
  • Regulate your cholesterol levels: As your cholesterol levels go up, so does your risk of heart disease. You can get your cholesterol under control by eating healthy, exercising, and quitting smoking. Some people may also need medications to help control their cholesterol.
  • Take Control: Become more engaged about your heart health and seek the advice of medical professionals to learn how to live a healthier lifestyle.

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