Almost half of all Wodonga residents are obese.
And the strain of obesity, along with other lifestyle risk factors, such as smoking and inactivity, is having an impact on people's heart health.
New data released by the Heart Foundation yesterday revealed 42 per cent of Wodonga people are obese - this is significantly higher than the national average of 31 per cent.
The data, which looks at heart disease risk factors from 2012 to 2016, shows a disparity between people's health either side of the Border.
Despite Albury's obesity rate sitting at 39 per cent, which is also higher than the national average, heart-related hospital admissions (42.3 per 10,000) and the heart disease mortality rate (57.3 per 10,000) are both below the national averages of 43.5 and 65.5 respectively.
This is a stark difference to its neighbouring city, with Wodonga sitting significantly higher (hospital admissions 49.3 and mortality rate of 67.4) in both categories.
Heart Foundation chief executive Victoria Kellie-Ann Jolly said there was also a great divide between Victoria's regional communities and their metro counterparts.
"What these alarming figures tell us is that social and economic disadvantage matter for your heart," she said.
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"Victorians who live in the state's most disadvantaged areas are more likely to have significant risk factors, be hospitalised for heart attack or die from coronary heart disease.
"We know better heart health is linked with secure work, safe affordable housing, good education, access to healthy food and appropriate health services.
"The burden of heart disease weighs heavy on us all and so it's time to act to close the metro-regional divide. We need government, communities, industry and individuals working together to address these inequalities."
As Victorians finally approach a COVID-normal summer, Ms Jolly urged people to understand their personal risks for heart disease and take steps to address them.
"We know people may have put off seeing a doctor this year, but it's time now to make that appointment," she said. "If you're 45 years and over, or from age 30 if you're Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, I urge you to talk to your GP about having a Heart Health Check."
Albury Wodonga Health cardiologist Dr Wei Sim was contacted for comment but was unable to respond due a busy surgery schedule.