Cardiac watch: Singaporeans are susceptible to heart failure and contract it at a younger age, a recent study showed.
Singaporeans have a higher risk of heart failure and contract it almost a decade earlier than their Western counterparts, according to a study by the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS).
Researchers found that the country’s citizens developed cardiac problems at an average age of 61 years. In contrast, Westerners generally experienced heart failure at 70 years of age.
In addition, many Singaporeans had cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol. Out of 1,000 local participants, 70 per cent were found to have high blood pressure, while 58 per cent of them suffered from diabetes.
These illnesses are known risk factors that contribute to a person’s odds of experiencing heart failure. The condition takes place when the heart is unable to supply enough blood needed for bodily functions, due to narrowed or congested blood vessels.
The study also found that Singaporean Malays were more susceptible to the condition. Over 62 per cent of the group had hypertension, in comparison to 58 per cent of Chinese and 43 per cent of Indian participants.
But it is not all doom and gloom. Associate Professor Carolyn Lam, the study’s principal investigator and a senior consultant at NHCS’ department of cardiology said: “Most of us will be able to lower our risk of developing heart failure if we keep to a healthy lifestyle through a sensible diet and regular exercise.”
The latest findings echo those from the previous National Health Survey, that is conducted by the Ministry of Health once every six years.
In 2010, 11.3 per cent of respondents between 18 to 69 years of age had diabetes, as compared to 8.2 per cent in 2004. Obesity and high blood pressure were likewise highlighted as prevalent health issues, comprising 10.8 per cent and 24.9 per cent of patients respectively.
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