Health x Wellness

Your Lack Of Concern For Your Heart Can Be Deadly

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Heart disease accounts for nearly one-third of all deaths in Singapore, yet Singaporeans are more concerned about other diseases.

A nationwide heart health survey finding commissioned by Schiff MegaRed and the Singapore Heart Foundation has discovered that Singaporeans are more concerned about other diseases than heart related ones. What’s more alarming is the fact that only one quarter of the 500 respondents ranked heart disease as their topmost health concern.

In a research conducted by Harika, R. K., Eilander, A., Alssema, M., Osendarp, S. J. M., Zock, P. L. titled “Intake of fatty acids in general populations worldwide does not meet  dietary recommendations to prevent coronary heart disease: A systematic review of date from 40 countries”, it was revealed that 15 people die from cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) each day, and this lack of concern and knowledge is a cause for worry since close to one-third of the respondents have had/have family members who suffered or are suffering from a form of heart disease. This was found to be more prominent among Indians/Other races.

Heart Health of Three Ethnic Groups: Chinese, Malay, and Indian/Other

While the Indian/Others ethnicity group had a higher family history of heart disease, they were also the most proactive in taking steps to reduce heart disease. More Chinese were found to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol as compared to the other ethnic groups. Although the Malays were most concerned about heart disease among the ethnic groups, they undertook the least steps to improve heart health. The majority of Malay respondents have not had their blood pressure and cholesterol checked within the last 12 months.

Reducing Risk of Heart Disease

The survey indicated that regular exercise, not smoking and reducing bad cholesterol were ranked – in sequence – the top three activities perceived to reduce heart disease. Among the various age groups, people above the age of 50 were the most active in taking steps – as they exercised in most days of the week to reduce the risk of heart disease in comparison to the younger population.

Disparity between perception and action can also be seen when 82% of the respondents are aware that Omega-3 helps reduce one’s risk of heart disease.

According to the survey, Singaporeans eat at least one serving of fish a week and their fish intake increases in parallel with age. Despite that, it falls short of the recommended consumption by American Heart Association of at least two servings per week.









Consumption of fish, rich in the long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been associated with numerous health benefits. More importantly, it protects against heart disease and possible stroke as it helps to modulate inflammatory reactions and decrease risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats). Since our bodies cannot produce Omega-3 fats, it has to be obtained from one’s diet.

“Research has shown that Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats), which can lead to sudden cardiac death. Omega-3 fatty acids also slow the growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque, lower blood pressure slightly and decrease triglyceride levels. Although it is preferable to increase the consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids through foods, some people may be unable to get enough Omega-3 by diet alone. Therefore, this is where supplements can assist in meeting the recommendation of eating at least two servings of fish per week” said Mr. Vernon Kang, CEO of Singapore Heart Foundation.




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