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Credit: Aboutheartattacks.info

According to doctors, nearly half of all Australians from the ages 55 and over have elevated risk of developing a stroke or experiencing a heart attack in the next five years.

The study by Access Economics has revealed one in five are at dangerous risk, with thirty or more per cent chance of having a potentially fatal episode.

Dr Grey Conner, cardiologist said they call the group of ageing people who have extremely high level of stroke and heart attack risk - the Generation Risk group.

The group of people with bigger risk include people who have a sedentary lifestyle, that often resulting in obesity.

Additionally, other risk factors are high cholesterol and high blood pressure, said Dr Conner.

Some changes in lifestyle and medications must be taken to decrease the risk.

A cardiologist, Professor Murray Esler says Medications for conditions such as high blood pressure can reduce an individual's risk of heart attack or stroke, but are grossly under-utilized in the long term.

He stated one in five people stop taking blood pressure medications after just one month and a total of 80 per cent stop taking these medications after 30 months, according to the Access Economics.

Prof Esler says, The analysis revealed that the risk of a catastrophic cardiovascular event could be reduced by up to 22 per cent if these patients continued with therapy.

In 2010, cardiovascular disease is likely to be the cause of 17,000 deaths of Australians over 55, said Lynne Pezullo, director of the Access Economics.