New test for nation's 'biggest killers'

The Risk Checker test will help check risk of developing diabetes, heart disease or kidney disease.
The Risk Checker test will help check risk of developing diabetes, heart disease or kidney disease.

Asking for a medical diagnosis from the internet might seem like a sure-fire way to be misdiagnosed with something terminal, but a new online government test might do you some good.

The new Risk Checker test, launched on Tuesday, is an online evaluation to help Australians check their risk of developing diabetes, heart disease or kidney disease over the next five years.

Healthdirect Australia chief executive Karen Borg said these were the three biggest killers in Australia.

She said 13 million Australians were in the risk category for heart disease, with three or more risk factors.

The test provides simple information on what people can do to improve their diet and also how much they exercise.

It takes some basic information - age, weight, diet - and not-so-basic information - cholesterol level, blood pressure, lifestyle habits - to calculate your risk level.

"You can have your cake and eat it too," Ms Borg said.

"But it does come down to how much cake and also are you doing anything to balance the amount of food that you're taking in."

Ms Borg said the test uses a simple coloured lights system, green is good, red is bad and yellow is somewhere in between.

"If you flash red, it's advisable that you seek clinical support fairly quickly," Ms Borg said.

She said people who used the test could always call the nurses on the 24-hour Healthdirect hotline to go over their results in a bit more detail.

While there were a lot of online tests and apps out there, Ms Borg said this test - developed with George Health Technologies - was more focused and relied on government resources.

She said the security and privacy aspects were also up to government standard.

Australian Associated Press