Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group is calling on adults across the town to find out their heart age and make changes to improve their overall cardiovascular health.

By taking part in the free online Heart Age Test, people can find out if the age of their heart matches their actual age and whether this puts them at an increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Currently, cardiovascular disease - which can lead to both stroke and heart attacks - is the biggest cause of death for men and the second biggest for women.

Experts suggest that in an average year around 80 per cent of deaths linked to poor heart health could have been avoided if the person had taken positive steps to look after their heart, such as exercising more, stopping smoking and cutting back on foods high in saturated fat. 

Swindon adults, especially those with high cholesterol and high blood pressure, are now being asked to know their heart age and make the necessary changes that will not only improve their cardiovascular health but also potentially add years to their life. 

Heavy smoker Mari Simms, 48, from Cirencester suffered a debilitating stroke two years ago, which has left her unable to walk properly and suffering from memory issues. 

She said: "I thought strokes only happened to older people, but I’ve now made changes to look after my heart health, such as quitting smoking and taking a bit more time for myself. 

"I’ve got a young daughter and granddaughter and want to be around to see them grow up.

"I hope my story will encourage people to complete the test and find out if there are any areas in their lives where they can make changes.”

The Heart Age test works by giving an immediate estimation of how a person's lifestyle choices have impacted on the functionality of their heart. 

Already completed more than 1.9 million times, the test has shown that around three quarters of those who have taken part (78 per cent) have a heart age higher than their actual age.  

Dr. Matt Kearney, NHS England's National Clinical Director for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, said: "The test is a simple and effective online device with the potential to help millions of people.

"The long-term plan for the NHS is to prioritise saving lives through improved protection against cardiovascular disease and increased public understanding of the risks of stroke and heart disease, which will hopefully mean fewer people have to face devastating conditions such as heart attack and stroke." 

People can find the test by clicking here or by searching heart age from any internet search engine.