London, Mar 5 (UNI) Stressful working hours and a lack of exercise has left people sitting on a ''heart disease timebomb'', a new study has claimed.
A growing appetite for junk food, alcohol and modern lifestyle makes people put on weight and is resulting in the heart ageing faster than rest of the body.
The figures are based on health checks of 3,000 adults under 60 for the Lloyds Pharmacy chain. Chris Frost, head of medicines at Lloyds, said: ''There is absolutely a heart disease timebomb.
Everything we should be doing, people are doing the reverse.'' Analysis showed the average person has a 'heart age' five years older than their chronological age. For non-smokers, the difference is just two years, but for smokers it is 14 years.
Men are worse than women, with male smokers having hearts 15 years older than their bodies. For female smokers, the figure is almost as high.
The growing obesity crisis was also taking its toll on heart health, with overweight and obese children storing up problems for later life, Mr Frost said.
''The good news is that there is a lot that can be done to reduce risk. The important thing is to identify people who have an elevated risk and help them alter their lifestyle,'' he added.
The risk of heart disease can be reduced by taking some simple steps such as eating a balanced diet, keeping active and quit smoking.
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