As Australia awaits the Melbourne Cup, the Heart Foundation is urging people to know their odds, as it’s revealed Australians have a better chance of developing heart disease than picking the Melbourne Cup winner.
With favourite Almandin having a one in eight chance to win the race, you've got more than double the chance of suffering from heart disease than the horse has of winning the Cup.
For the past 10 years, the winner of the Melbourne Cup has had, on average, a one in 10 chance of taking out the race, but in comparison, the average 40-year-old Australian man has a one in two chance of developing heart disease, with women of the same age having a one in three chance.
Heart Foundation National CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly said that while many punters will be focused on selecting the winning horse ahead of the big race, Australians should not forget about how likely they are to develop heart disease.
“Half of all men and a third of all women aged over 40 in Australia risk developing heart disease and in the three and half minutes that stops the nation, at least one Australian will end up in hospital with heart disease. However, it’s never too early or too late to reduce your risk,” he said.
Professor Kelly said nine in 10 adult Australians have at least one risk factor for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, or an unhealthy diet.
One in two have three or more risk factors, however many people may be unaware they’re at risk, and often there are no symptoms.
“The best thing people can do to find out their risk of heart disease is to see their GP or health professional for a heart health check. Every Australian over 45 years old, and 35 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, should have a heart health check,” he said.
By making lifestyle changes to be more active, eating a healthy, balanced diet and being smoke free, Australians can improve their heart health and reduce their risk of heart disease.