Healthdirect Australia has launched a free online test that helps predict your chances of developing any of Australia's 3 biggest health concerns.
Developed with the George Institute for Global Health, the Risk Checker calculates a person's risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and kidney disease.
The simple online questionnaire takes just minutes to complete, spits out a red (high), amber (medium) or green (low) alert for each chronic disease, and offers tips to reduce your risk.
Not your average risk calculator
"There are a lot of people who don't know they're suffering from a chronic disease. What we're trying to do is get them to a path where they can get help," Healthdirect Australia CEO, Karen Borg, told 7NEWS on Tuesday.The test is an easy-to-use first step to help someone know they are at risk. "If you're a 'red', I'd suggest seeing a GP straight away. With an amber or a green report, it's more about what actions you can take."
"The test goes further than many risk calculators, by providing a personalised report which shows, based on the information they entered, how each individual can make changes to their habits and lifestyle — and this will substantially increase their likelihood of living a longer, healthier life," says Ms Borg.
Heart disease is the leading single cause of death of Australians, and 13 million Aussies have 3 or more preventable risk factors for heart disease.
The 3 diseases are largely preventable
Half of Australians live with at least one chronic condition. The 3 conditions that the Risk Checker focuses on — heart disease, kidney disease and type 2 diabetes — are largely preventable and often interrelated. Diabetes, for example, the fastest growing chronic disease in Australia, increases your risk of heart disease.
The 3 diseases all come with risk factors — characteristics that can make you more likely to develop the disease. They don't, however, always come with symptoms or obvious signs.
"Many serious conditions such as heart attack, type 2 diabetes and kidney disease don't show any obvious symptoms, so people don't know if they are at high risk for developing these diseases," explains Dr Ruth Webster, Global Head of Medicine at George Health Technologies, a division of the George Institute.
"In fact, people may already have one of these conditions already without knowing.
"There are effective treatments for these conditions, and we know that better management of risk factors reduces the risk of a serious health event. This new test will help people identify their risk so they can take the next step," says Dr Webster.
How to check your risk
The healthdirect Risk Checker asks questions about your body measurements, dietary and lifestyle habits, and any known medical history.
You'll receive a low, medium or high-risk score for all 3 diseases, along with the probability that you will develop each disease over the next 5 years. You'll also be able to see how your result compares with risk rates across the wider Australian population.
At the end of the Risk Checker test, you'll also get tips that can help you reduce your risk, boost your health and live your best life.
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