The winning party in Saturday's elections should offer regular heart checks for Australians over the age of 45, the National Heart Foundation and National Stroke Foundation have urged.

The two foundations said regular heart checks should be part of a national strategy to reduce the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease as what happened in the U.K.

The strategy being referred to was part of a program introduced in Britain in 2000 aimed at cutting the heart disease death toll by 40 percent in 10 years. The goal was achieved in five years' time, according to NHF chief executive Lyn Roberts.

Roberts said money spent on such a program would translate to lower or zero treatment costs later.

Cardiovascular disease, which causes heart attacks and strokes, kills 48,000 Australians per year. The figure represents 34 percent of the total deaths.

The disease cost Australians $5.9 billion, 11 percent of the total spending from 2004 to 2005.