Federal health minister Tanya Plibersek has joined the fight to help Australian women improve their heart health as part of a six-week campaign.
Yesterday (June 4) marked the start of the Heart Foundation's Healthy Heart Challenge – a free program that urges women, particularly those over the age of 45, to focus on one of four key goals – decreasing cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, being active every day and improving nutrition.
According to Ms Plibersek, 90 per cent of women around the country have at least one risk factor for heart disease.
"Heart disease is the number one killer of Australian women and kills four times as many women as breast cancer," she said.
Chief executive officer for the Heart Foundation's NSW branch Tony Thirlwell congratulated the minister for signing up to the challenge and encouraged others to do the same.
"The only way to find out if you’re at risk is to get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked by a health professional," he added.
Some private health insurance policies may offer access to wellbeing programs that incorporate advice on a range of lifestyle factors, including diet and exercise.
The 2011 Healthy Heart Challenge saw more than half of the 17,000 participants lower their cholesterol and blood pressure levels.