A new analysis from Public Health England shows that one in 10 men have a heart age 10 years older than they are, increasing their risk for heart attack or stroke.

Out of 1.2 million people who have taken the agency’s online Heart Age Test since it was launched earlier this year, 167,000 (12 percent) had a heart age at least 10 years older than them, with the majority of these (64 percent) being male.

Every month, 7,400 people die from heart disease or stroke, but a quarter of deaths are of people under 75 and most of these can be prevented, PHE stressed.

While trends have recently shown that the incidence of cardiovascular disease is on the decline, it remains the main cause of death amongst men and the second highest cause of death in women.

PHE is now leading a campaign, in partnership with the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Stroke Association and Blood Pressure UK, to help alter how people think about their heart health, encouraging them to be as familiar with their heart age as they are with their weight or height.

The agency is encouraging adults to take the Heart Age Test, to gauge how many years they can expect to live healthily without a heart attack or stroke. A new version of the test supports adults in making simple changes towards “a longer, happier life,” referring users to apps, advice and resources to help them eat and drink better, get active, and quit smoking where appropriate.

“We should all aim for our heart age to be the same as our real age - addressing our risk of heart disease and stroke should not be left until we are older,” said Associate Professor Jamie Waterall, lead for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at PHE. “The Heart Age Test is really important as it gives an immediate idea of heart attack and stroke risk, with no doctor’s appointment needed.”

Also of note, around half of those taking the test since it launched in February 2015 did not know their blood pressure numbers. According to PHE, 5.6 million people in England currently have high blood pressure but do not know it.

“It’s extremely worrying that so many people don’t know their blood pressure or cholesterol levels, as these silent conditions can lead to a deadly heart attack or stroke if untreated,” warned Dr Mike Knapton, medical director at the BHF.

The Heart Age Test now directs users to their nearest blood pressure station if they do not know theirs. “Getting your blood pressure tested in your nearest pharmacy or health centre can be the first important step to prolonging your life,” stressed Katherine Jenner, chief executive of Blood Pressure UK.