According to the Singapore Ministry of Health, 17 people die from cardiovascular disease (heart diseases and stroke) in Singapore, every day. Cardiovascular disease accounted for 30.1% of all deaths in 2017. This means that 1 out of 3 deaths in Singapore, is due to heart diseases or stroke.
Preventing heart disease means making smart choices now that will save you the heartache later in life. Take charge of your heart by understanding what the disease is about and by choosing a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Who are at risk of heart disease?
People who have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, history of smoking or family history of heart disease, are at an increased risk of developing heart disease. Men are more likely to develop coronary heart disease after the age of 45, while the risk increases for women after menopause around the age of 55.
5 simple ways to protect your heart.
- Exercise regularly and stick to that gym membership. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day, for 5 times a week.
- Throw away your cigarettes and quit smoking. Smoking causes hardening of the blood vessels which will lead to premature coronary artery disease. Smokers continue to increase their risk of heart attack the longer they smoke. People who smoke a pack a day have more than twice the risk of heart attack than people who do not smoke.
- Recognise early signs of coronary heart disease. Chest tightness or discomfort in the chest, neck, arm or stomach, which comes on exertion but relieves at rest may be the first sign of heart disease, which can eventually lead to heart attack if untreated.
- Eat food that is heart friendly. Choose nutrient-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, and legumes.
- Keep stress at bay. A few studies indicated a strong co-relation between stress and heart disease. Long-term stress causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure that may damage the artery walls.
Prevention is better than cure
Your heart is in your hands. Schedule a check-up to have your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels checked. Always follow your healthcare professional’s recommendations, including taking prescribed medications as directed.
Dr Leow Khang Leng
Consultant Cardiologist, Nobel Heart Centre
Dr Leow Khang Leng is a consultant cardiologist from Nobel Heart Centre, a member of Healthway Medical Group. He treats various cardiac conditions such as coronary artery disease, acute myocardial infarction, valvular heart disease, heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias.