- Heart disease is the leading cause of fatality in the U.S.
- Your risk for heart disease increases as you grow older so it’s important to start taking preventive measures now.
- You can take care of your heart by living a healthy lifestyle, getting regular screenings, and knowing the signs of heart disease. It’s also important to know the warning signs of a heart attack in the event an emergency arises.
Heart disease is a prevalent problem not only in the U.S. but worldwide. To make matters worse, your risk for heart disease or heart attack increases as you grow older. All the more reason to take preventive measures as soon as possible!
While certain factors are out of our control, such as genetics, gender, and age, there are many within your control. Follow along as we take a look at how the heart changes as you age and the steps you can take to protect your heart as you grow older.
How Does the Heart Change as We Age?
According to the National Institute on Aging, individuals age 65 and older have a greater risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. They also have a greater risk of developing coronary heart disease and heart failure. But why is this the case?
For starters, your heart can weaken over time, especially if you become less active as you age. This can cause the left ventricle to become stiffer, causing less oxygen-rich blood to be pumped throughout your body.
Furthermore, your heart beats slower during physical exercise and stressful situations compared to when you were younger. This may lead to thicker artery walls and less elastic tissue. In turn, this can make it harder for your blood pressure to stabilize quickly. Luckily, there are steps you can take to “delay, lower, or possibly avoid or reverse your risk,” says the source.