Farmers must take own health seriously
It has often been noted that a farmer will take better care of their livestock or even their machinery, than themselves.
Today we publish alarming proof that this is indeed the case. The sector which is such a key component of our economy is in the midst of a hidden health crisis.
The main cause for concern is heart disease, with farmers found to be seven times more likely to die from cardiovascular problems than people working in other professions.
The Irish Heart Foundation (IHF) report should act as a genuine rallying call to all concerned.
The report was born out of a series of free screenings of farmers conducted at marts, fairs and ploughing events around the country.
Judging by these sobering findings, there is a strong case to keep such free checks in place.
The report tells a genuinely shocking story, where some 86pc of farmers tested were overweight or obese.
And almost 50pc of farmers had either high blood pressure or excessive cholesterol levels. Evidently, farmers must start to take their health more seriously. Farming has already been identified as one of the most dangerous sectors of the economy in which to work. Diet, education and awareness of health is critical. This is one report that must be taken seriously.