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Is your heart older than your age?

A study from the Centers for Disease Control found nearly 70 million adults in the U.S. have hearts that have aged beyond their actual years.

For men, the average difference is 8 years. For women, it was five years.

The biggest risks to having an aging heart include high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

Dr. Bijoy Khanderia, a cardiologist from Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center was a special live guest on the CBS 58 News at 4:30 p.m. to talk about staying young at heart.

\"Bad choices like poor nutrition, smoking, alcohol usage and lack of exercise all build up over the years and your heart can be weakened,' explained Dr. Khanderia.

Heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women in the US. Nearly 800,000 Americans die each year from heart-related illnesses. 

Aurora St. Luke's has a number of  major initiatives to help people live healthier.

There is an entire research team at the Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani Center for Integrative Research on Cardiovascular Aging, focusing on helping to better understand the biology of the aging heart and heart-associated disease.

Through the center, the experts are putting into place better designed strategies for doctors and other physicians across the country to help people better manage their hearts.

Aurora St. Luke's also has a center called the Karen Yontz Women's Cardiac Awareness Center with programs in place to help primarily women make better choice for heart health with food, exercise and overall healthy habits.

\"People need to take their heart health seriously, and that starts with eating well, avoiding things like fried foods, saturated fats and smoking, and then get regular exercise to keep the heart working well,\" urged the doctor.

He said it's critical to maintain an ongoing relationship with a physician.

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