iHeart Internal Age

Why would you want to know your iHeart “Internal Age”? 

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You know your approach to lifestyle. You know your lab results. You may even have a fitness tracker.

But do you really know what’s happening to your biological health? 

Internal age, or biological age, is representative of the wear and tear on the body. It is what determines our health and ultimately our lifespan. We all age biologically at different rates according to our genes, what we eat, how much we exercise, stress, sleep and what environmental toxins we are exposed to. Chronological age is how old the calendar says you are, not how old we really are. It's a superficial number.

Example conditions that work against your biological age are hypertension, inflammation, insulin resistance and autoimmune disease. Lifestyle can either encourage or prevent these conditions.

How does it work?

In this animation you can see how Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity (AoPWV) changes in individuals of different age ranges. As we age, the aorta stiffens AoPWV increases and the heart has no time to relax before the reflected wave of blood returns.

The iHeart calculates your biological age based on a principle called “aortic pulse wave velocity,'' (the gold standard of aortic stiffness testing) to assess aortic stiffness which is a proven indicator of risk for developing disease.

Aortic stiffness is stiffening in the aorta, the largest artery in the body running from the chest to the pelvis. As unhealthy choices are perpetuated over time, the aorta will stiffen and lose elasticity; a vital part of its ability to deliver blood and oxygen to the organs efficiently.

Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity is the speed at which reflected pressure waves travel along the walls of the aorta. The difference between their arrival time at the fingertip and the arrival of the heart’s initial pulse is measured in metres-per-second. The faster this reflected wave travels along the aorta, with speed directly affected by stiffness, the more at risk a person is for cardiovascular effects.

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In the example, the pulse wave was measured at 9.07 meters/second. 

Increased Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity as a result of aortic stiffening has been shown to be strongly associated with the narrowing of the inside of arteries due to the buildup of plaque. The optimal cutoff value of PWV to detect patients with high 10-year cardiovascular mortality risk was 13 meters/second. (1)

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences have been studying 356 older adults (average age, 78) over the last 15 years and have concluded that maintaining healthy levels of arterial stiffness can reduce an individual's risk for dementia.

(1) Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity as a Marker of Cardiovascular Risk in Hypertensive Patients

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is NOT a medical device. It is intended for wellness education only. It is not intended to be used for any medical diagnosis or management of medical conditions.