Being active into your 90s isn’t so unusual any more. Sarah Brealey talks to three people who are living proof of that. Plus, read about research we're helping to fund into older adults and some of the support we offer.
Research into older adults
There are more than 500,000 people aged 90 and over living in the UK.
Professor Peter Whincup (pictured below) leads the British Regional Heart Study, an investigation of the causes and prevention of cardiovascular disease in older British men, based at University College London.
He also works closely with Dr Juan-Pablo Casas, the director of the British Women’s Heart and Health Study, looking at the causes of cardiovascular disease risk in older British women. Both studies are funded by the BHF and most of the participants are aged between 70 and 95.
“The UK population is ageing and the burden of cardiovascular disease is much greater in older age, partly because key risk factors – obesity, diabetes and low rates of physical activity – are much greater in older age groups,” says Professor Whincup.
“Yet, so far, most of the big population studies looking at cardiovascular disease risk have particularly looked at middle age.
“We are looking for simple ways in which people can alter their habits to reduce their risk of heart disease, and we are focusing on physical activity.
“Most people think they get their recommended minimum of 150 minutes of weekly physical activity, but when you monitor their activity closely, only a small proportion do.
We are trying to highlight ways in which older people can build up and maintain levels of physical activity which will improve their heart health.”
Support from the BHF
We’ve got lots of free resources that can help you follow a healthy lifestyle and support you with a heart condition.
You might like to order or download free booklets. There’s also our film, The road ahead – your guide to heart tests and treatments. Or you can view many of these short films on the relevant pages of the Heart Health section of this site.
Read about Gladys, 96, (pictured above) who practises tai chi and has bounced back from many setbacks
Read about Russel, 91, and how he stays positive despite multiple health conditions
Read about Ada, 91, who loves volunteering, and listen to her talk about her wartime experiences in the Dutch Resistance