“If you know you have high blood pressure and cholesterol, you need to see your doctor to help manage your risks,” the foundation’s Dr Robert Grenfell says.
Researchers found that 47 per cent of the 1.7 million high-risk Australians had not seen their GP in the past 24 months, a conference in Adelaide will be told on Saturday.
There are no obvious symptoms for high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and a heart attack can be the first sign anything is wrong, Dr Grenfell says.
The foundation says people aged 45 and older should see their GP for a heart check but the recommended age for indigenous people is 35.
“A heart-health check includes getting cholesterol, blood pressure and waist measurements monitored to calculate your risk of having a heart attack in the next five years.
“Your GP will also discuss other risk factors like family history and your smoking status,” he says.
Research from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Women and Heart Disease report shows 40 per cent of adult Australians have three or more risk factors.
The risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, physical inactivity, smoking, risky alcohol consumption, low vegetable consumption and low fruit consumption.