Are you at risk of heart disease?
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. 

Key takeaways

  • It’s never too early or late to manage your risk of heart disease and improve your heart health 
  • You can help reduce your risk of heart disease by making positive changes to your lifestyle 
  • Some risk factors for heart disease are beyond your control, such as: age, gender, ethnicity, and family history  
  • High blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes can increase your chance of developing heart disease 
  • Understand your risk by seeing your GP for a Heart Health Check.  
5 min read

There’s no one cause for heart disease. However, there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing it. The more risk factors you have, the more likely you are to develop heart disease. More than two-thirds of Australian adults have three or more risk factors for heart disease. Yet many people don’t know they’re at risk.

Preventing heart disease starts with knowing your risk factors and making positive lifestyle changes to lower your risk. Most heart attacks and strokes can be prevented with healthy choices. This can include eating a heart-healthy diet, being active and smoke-free.  

Understand your risks

You might also be interested in

4 tips to keep your heart healthy while working from home

4 tips to keep your heart healthy while working from home

4 tips to keep your heart healthy while working from home

What's your BMI?

What's your BMI?

What's your BMI?

Are you within a healthy weight range for your height?...

Heart conditions in women

Heart conditions in women

Heart conditions in women

Like men, women can be diagnosed with a range of heart conditions....

Cholesterol and triglycerides action plan

Cholesterol and triglycerides action plan

Key steps that can help you manage your cholesterol and triglyceride levels....

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Visit the St Vincents Hospital NSW and Heart Foundation Aboriginal heart health website for more information...

Healthy scalloped potatoes

Healthy scalloped potatoes

Healthy scalloped potatoes

1 hour and 10 minutes
Serves Serves 4 (as a side)

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Every day, 22 women lose their lives to this condition....

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril suffered a heart attack in 2015. Cardiac rehab helped get his life back on track. ...

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Try our Heart Age Calculator to understand what contributes to your risk of heart disease....

Blood pressure and your heart

Blood pressure and your heart

Blood pressure and your heart

Understand blood pressure and how it can impact your heart health....

Kylie defied the heart attack stereotypes

Kylie defied the heart attack stereotypes

Kylie defied the heart attack stereotypes

Cardiac rehabilitation was a turning point for Kylie and essential to her heart failure recovery....

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Got a question about your heart?...

Blood cholesterol

Blood cholesterol

Blood cholesterol

Keeping your blood cholesterol at a healthy level can help you reduce your risk of heart disease and other serious conditions. ...

Norm discovered he was at risk of a major heart attack just in the nick of time

Norm discovered he was at risk of a major heart attack just in the nick of time

Norm discovered he was at risk of a major heart attack just in the nick of time

Norm didn’t worry too much about his cholesterol problem – until an angiogram revealed he had an 80 per cent blockage in a major heart artery. ...

How your heart works

How your heart works

How your heart works

Your heart is a muscle that pumps blood to all parts of your body. The blood gives your body the oxygen and nourishment it needs to work properly. ...

Diabetes and heart disease

Diabetes and heart disease

Diabetes and heart disease

Diabetes is an ongoing health condition where your body’s usual ways of controlling your blood sugar, or blood glucose levels, don’t work properly. ...

Why are you playing this game? It’s putting your heart at risk.

Why are you playing this game? It’s putting your heart at risk.

Why are you playing this game? It’s putting your heart at risk.

The game is “hide and seek”. You play it without even realising. The shock is that when you play this game, you could be placing your heart health at risk....

Quit smoking action plan

Quit smoking action plan

Know your risk: Family history and heart disease 

Know your risk: Family history and heart disease 

Know your risk: Family history and heart disease 

A family history of heart disease could mean you are at greater risk....

Sodium and salt converter

Sodium and salt converter

Convert the sodium listed on food products into grams of salt or vice versa. ...

What is a healthy body weight?

What is a healthy body weight?

What is a healthy body weight?

Find out what a healthy body weight is and the steps you can take to achieve it. ...

Healthy eating to protect your heart

Healthy eating to protect your heart

Healthy eating to protect your heart

What does a heart-friendly diet look like?...

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

If you're 45 and over, or 30 and over if you're of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, you should book your Heart Health Check today...

Heart health information in your language

Heart health information in your language

A selection of heart health information brochures in a range languages...

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy is something you can work on every day. ...

Mental health and heart disease

Mental health and heart disease

Mental health and heart disease

Having a mental health condition can have a negative impact on your heart health and increase your risk of heart disease....

Physical activity and your heart health

Physical activity and your heart health

Physical activity and your heart health

Physical activity and exercise can benefit your heart, body and mind....

Risk factors for women

Risk factors for women

Risk factors for women

In Australia, 90% of women have one risk factor for heart disease, and 50% have two or more. ...

Is salt bad for your heart?

Is salt bad for your heart?

Is salt bad for your heart?

Most Australians are eating more than the recommended amounts and this can cause health problems....

Smoking and your heart

Smoking and your heart

Smoking and your heart

Understand how smoking can impact your heart health. ...

What waist measurements mean for your heart

What waist measurements mean for your heart

What waist measurements mean for your heart

How your waist measurement contributes to your heart health...

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Visit the St Vincents Hospital NSW and Heart Foundation Aboriginal heart health website for more information...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join our community of fundraisers who are committed to taking action to fight heart disease....

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

How we fought heart disease in 2020

How we fought heart disease in 2020

How we fought heart disease in 2020

Everything we do is possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters. ...

Women's heart stories

Women's heart stories

Women's heart stories

Women's stories from around Australia...

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is the broad term for conditions that affect the structure and function of the heart muscle. ...

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

Action Plans

Action Plans

Action Plans

Recovery is a long journey, so having a plan makes a huge difference. Using an action plan gives you a step-by-step guide to improving your lifestyle....

Chicken recipes

Chicken recipes

Chicken recipes

Find heart healthy chicken recipes....

Getting active at school

Getting active at school

Getting active at school

Physical activity resources for school staff....

Key Statistics: Coronary Heart Disease

Key Statistics: Coronary Heart Disease

Statistics and information on coronary heart disease in Australia ...

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

Getting the right balance of fats in your diet can improve your heart health....

Key Statistics: Risk Factors For Cardiovascular Disease

Key Statistics: Risk Factors For Cardiovascular Disease

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David's heart failure diagnosis led to significant changes in his life....

Heart Safe Community

Heart Safe Community

Heart Safe Community

Heart Safe Community is a program that aims to increase a person’s chance of survival if they suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital. ...

Support after a heart attack

Support after a heart attack

Support after a heart attack

Many different thoughts may go through your head after a heart attack and you may be presented with complicated medical info. Know where to get support. ...

Benefits of physical activity for your heart

Benefits of physical activity for your heart

Benefits of physical activity for your heart

Physical activity and exercise can do wonders for your physical and mental health....

Physical activity resources

Physical activity resources

Physical activity resources

Resources for health professionals interested in physical activity....

Absolute CVD risk clinical guidelines

Absolute CVD risk clinical guidelines

The Absolute Cardiovascular Disease Risk (CVD) Guidelines helps healthcare professionals identify, prevent and manage a person's risk of developing CVD. ...

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Search through our tasty salad recipes...

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Explore our guide for driving and heart attack recovery. ...

Leaving a gift in your Will: A lasting legacy

Leaving a gift in your Will: A lasting legacy

Leaving a gift in your Will: A lasting legacy

One of the most powerful ways to help support a future without heart disease is to include a gift to the Heart Foundation in your Will...

Reading food labels

Reading food labels

Reading food labels

Nutrition information panels and ingredients lists are a good way of comparing similar foods so you can choose the healthiest option....

What is FoodTrack?

What is FoodTrack?

What is FoodTrack?

FoodTrack supports the collection and monitoring of nutrition and product data for foods and beverages in Australian supermarkets. ...

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Explore how to manage your financial concerns after a heart attack. ...

Heart procedures and devices

Heart procedures and devices

Heart procedures and devices

If you have a heart condition, your doctor may recommend treatment or procedures...

Chest x-ray for heart disease

Chest x-ray for heart disease

This test can help your doctor determine if there is anything wrong with your heart....