Online Calculator Can Help Young Adults Prevent Heart Disease

Wouldn't it be cool to know if you're at a higher risk for heart disease? Well, an online calculator might be able to help young adults determine if they are at risk of developing heart disease by the time they reach middle age. By using this tool, you should be able to make important lifestyle changes that could potentially save your life.

Harvard Conducted A Study Over Two Decades

Basically, a large group of 25-year-olds were encouraged to use the Heart Healthy Tool, an online survey that examines nine different factors that can influence the risk of heart disease. Those factors include smoking, weight, exercise, and alcohol consumption, in addition to dietary intake, including the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, sugary drinks, and red/processed meat.

A study conducted by Harvard Medical School showed that the Heart Healthy Tool worked "moderately well" when it came to predicting the risk of heart disease in a group of about 5,000 adults. These participants were followed for over 20 years to see how accurate the Heart Healthy Tool was at deciphering heart disease risk.

Turns out, the results were pretty accurate. The people in the group that suffered heart attacks and strokes later on in life had the worst average scores given by the Healthy Heart Tool.

Doctors Agree That Making A Few Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference

"It is not surprising that the factors in the Healthy Heart Score - diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol and body mass index - predict heart disease in the future. What is surprising is how well those lifestyle factors measured before the age of 30 years can predict the risk of heart disease, even in young adults without other risk factors for heart disease like hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes," said lead study author Dr. Holly Gooding of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Diet & Exercise Are Always Key

The online tool can be useful to those willing to make changes in their day to day lives. It encourages people to increase exercise and adjust diet habits, which can both lead to living a healthier life. The hope is that the tool will show people just how a few changes can save them from suffering with major health issues down the road.