Millions of Aussies at heart disease risk

Almost 13 million people are at risk of heart disease with multiple risk factors for the nation's biggest killer, data released by the Heart Foundation shows.
Almost 13 million people are at risk of heart disease with multiple risk factors for the nation's biggest killer, data released by the Heart Foundation shows.

ALMOST 13 million Australian adults are putting their tickers at risk of heart disease, new statistics reveal.

More than two-thirds of Australian adults are at risk of the nation’s leading killer by having at least three risk factors, data released by the Heart Foundation on Sunday shows.

This equates to three-in-four men and one-in-two women with a trio of risk factors.

“This is alarming because we know that the more risk factors you have, the more likely you are to have a heart attack or stroke,” the foundation’s chief medical adviser Professor Garry Jennings said.

“While you can’t change your family history, it’s important to understand that if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or lifestyle risk factors, you can certainly act to reduce your risk.”

The data is from the Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey 2017/18 and has been released to kick off Heart Week which runs until May 4.

Eligible Australians are urged to visit a doctor for a Medicare-funded heart health check “to manage their risk of heart attack or stroke in the next five years”, Prof Jennings said.

The check is estimated to prevent an average of 42 heart events daily for the next five years, including heart attacks, strokes and deaths, the foundation states.

Survey findings released earlier also found 67 per cent of adult Australians are overweight or obese, and almost one in four people had high blood pressure.

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