Heart Failure is Getting Younger in Singapore; and that’s not a good thing



Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood into the circulating system to meet the body’s need. A study by the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) has revealed that Singaporeans suffer from heart failure at a much younger age (61 years of age) than the Western communities (70 years of age).

Heart failure is primarily caused by cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes and coronary artery disease (high cholesterol). While cardiovascular disease is one of the leading cause of death in the world, Singaporeans are prone to these diseases due to the busy lifestyle with lack of exercise and poor diets.

The study which was conducted between 2012 and 2015 found that 58 percent of patients suffered from diabetes, compared to 40 percent in Asia and the United states and 33 percent in Europe.

“Mortality due to heart failure is more than that of many cancers, but many Singaporeans are unaware of the implication and health impact of heart failure.”, said Dr. Carolyn Lam, a senior consultant and associate professor at the NHCS. She emphasized on the rising concern of mortality due to heart failure in Singapore, which was found to be more than 60% of patients with heart failure from prior studies.

Although heart failure is commonly a disease of the elderly, it is still possible to strike the younger individuals and it has becoming more prevalent in the modern societies.

“The silver lining is that most cardiovascular risk factors are modifiable. In other words, there is a lot we can do to reduce or prevent the risk of hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease,” said Dr. Lam while speaking to the Straits Times. Dr. Lam described cardiovascular diseases as lifestyle-related.

Many kinds of cardiovascular diseases, which eventually lead to heart failure, are closely related to the eating habit and lifestyle of individuals.

The choice of food is essential in maintaining heart health. Natural fruits and vegetables are healthy food choices while food with high cholesterol or deep-fried food is not recommended. Regular exercise is also important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Even casual walking or climbing stairs are considered as exercising.

A healthy lifestyle and proper eating habit can effectively reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and shield yourself from heart failure.

For more information on heart failure and to read Biotechin.Asia’s interview with Prof Carolyn Lam, please click here.