A new survey has revealed that a majority of Australian women are ignorant about their risk of heart disease despite many health warnings and instead worry far more about developing breast cancer.
The survey conducted by Newspoll revealed that awareness about heart disease and causes was 'dangerously low'.
"It is a common misconception that heart disease is a 'male problem', with women tending to dismiss their symptoms and not seek help until the condition becomes serious", Brisbane Times quoted Cameron Prout, chief executive of the Heart Foundation, which commissioned the research, as saying.
"But heart disease should not be underestimated.
"It is a real issue for all women and younger women should heed our warning and take action now to reduce their risk," she added.
The survey involving 1300 women, also showed that while about half were aware smoking, saturated fat and obesity were major risk factors for heart disease, other causes were little known.
The figures revealed that only 11 per cent of those questioned recognised high blood pressure as a risk factor, while 19 per cent recognised high cholesterol and six per cent recognised diabetes.
Only 18 per cent thought alcohol could be a contributing factor.
The Heart Foundation is promoting heart check-ups for women as part of its Go Red for Women awareness campaign. The promotion calls on women to get a heart disease risk assessment, learn their cholesterol numbers, quit smoking, eat well and exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.