And if you're moderately well off, you're far less likely to develop heart disease than someone from a poorer family.
These conclusions are based on a new model for assessing heart risk - the QRisk - that better reflects modern lifestyles than the standard Framingham model, which was developed in the USA in the 1970s.
Using the QRisk scoring system, 3.2 million Britons aged between 35 and 74 are at risk from heart disease compared with 4.7 million identified by the Framingham system.
The research team that developed the new system says it is a more sensitive barometer that includes national and social differences. The Framingham measurement is based very much on American lifestyles, and it assumes they are the same the world over.
The QRisk also takes into account comparative wealth and its impact on heart health, and it endorses the discovery made several years ago that a bottle of red wine a week is better at warding off heart disease than a statin drug - provided you're healthy to begin with. Smokers still benefit from a statin, the researchers say.
(Source: British Medical Journal, 2007; 335; 107-8; and 136-41).