Women at risk: A study by Watsons pharmacists indicates Hong Kong women are increasingly at risk of heart disease on account of their low physical activity levels and high incidence of obesity. The study, part of the chain's 'TLC For Your Heart' campaign, developed with the Chinese University of Hong Kong's School of Public Health and supported by the Merck Sharp & Dohme drug company, found that 34 per cent of 740 female respondents had higher than normal cholesterol levels and 36 per cent had higher than normal blood pressure. This sampling could mean more than a million Hong Kong women risking heart disease should change their lifestyle and/or medication if they are to avoid a potentially fatal heart attack. Specialists expressed their concern at the revelation that less than half of the women surveyed exercised regularly - despite the wide publicity of the activity's benefits to heart health - and less than 10 per cent of respondents said they already took medication for high cholesterol or blood pressure. Also, 20 per cent of the women surveyed were overweight. Watsons calls on all Hong Kong women to visit one of the chain's pharmacy stores for a heart-disease risk assessment which includes a free blood-pressure test and a free do-it-yourself cholesterol analysis. The offer closes on Thursday. Sporting chance: Record-breaking sporting achievements may be less impressive than they first appear, researchers suggest. A study indicates in many cases performance improvements that set new records could be lucky flukes. They are as likely to be due to random factors such as wind, climate and altitude as better training or a wider range of competitors, say scientists. The findings suggest performance in many athletic disciplines is reaching its peak and will not progress much further. Daniel Gembris, of the Research Centre Juelich in Germany, and colleagues compared actual results with predictions of what would be expected by chance. The analysis was first applied to the top performances of men in 22 disciplines during the German Athletics Championships. A forecast was made of how far the results from 1973 to 1984 were likely to be bettered from 1985 to 1996 if only random variations applied. Comparing the results with actual performances from 1985 to 1996, the researchers found that a systematic improvement which could not be explained by luck was only seen in four of the 22 disciplines. These were the 110-metre hurdles, the 50km and 20km walking races and the pole vault. Writing in Nature journal, the scientists said: 'Annual best results worldwide show saturation in some disciplines.'