Tasmania unhealthy heartwise

 TASMANIA and South Australia share the dubious honour of the most unhealthy heart states, according to the latest research.

Tasmanians are particularly sick with the highest prevalence of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and the second highest ranking for smoking, according to the national health survey released recently.

Nearly 23 per cent of Tasmanians suffer from cardiovascular disease, 30.4 per cent of the population has high blood pressure and 23.2 per cent of Tasmanians smoke.

The Heart Foundation Tasmania this week announced funding of $168,713 to be spent on cardiovascular health research next year.

Heart Foundation chief executive Graeme Lynch said the new project would look at the influences and consequences of Australian children skipping breakfast.

``For many Tasmanians the risk factors for heart disease are preventable with the obesity epidemic continuing to be a core challenge,'' Mr Lynch said.

Menzies Research Institute director Tom Marwick said  cardiovascular disease processes started early in life and that it was important to quickly establish healthy eating habits to delay the onset of cardiovascular risk factors.

``Promoting the benefits of eating breakfast and converting breakfast skippers into breakfast consumers has the potential to be a practical strategy for improving the cardiovascular health of our state,'' Professor Marwick said.

Menzies Centre will conduct the research for the Heart Foundation.

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