Brimbank residents are being urged to check their heart health this month.

A free testing station which checks whether a patient has an irregular heartbeat – increasing the risk of stroke five-fold – has been set up at Sunshine Hospital.

It’s part of a campaign developed by Hearts4Heart in response to alarmingly low levels of testing for a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation.

Hearts4Heart chief executive Tanya Hall said early detection of an irregular heartbeat can prove to be life saving.

“Atrial fibrillation-related strokes can be prevented, but diagnosis remains the critical first step,” she said.

“It is estimated that one-in-four strokes occur in people with atrial fibrillation.

“We don’t want a stroke to be the first time any Australian discovers they have an irregular heartbeat.

“Pulse and heart-rate testing is quick, it’s simple and could ultimately save lives.”

The testing station will operate from 2-4pm on Wednesday, September 18 and from 9-11am on Friday, September 20.

Atrial fibrillation screening and information stations will operate at hospitals and pharmacies across Australia during Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Week, November 18-24.

Details: www.hearts4heart.org.au