Health x Wellness

Manage your blood pressure by consuming lesser salt

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Singapore Heart Foundation Celebrates National Heart Week/World Heart Day 2023 with a cautionary message to controlling sodium intake and manage high blood pressure

Persistent high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, continues to be a significant concern among Singaporeans. Not only is it one of the most common risk factors for heart attacks, but the National Population Health Survey 2022 has revealed a notable surge in the prevalence of hypertension, escalating from 24.2 percent in 2017 to a staggering 37 percent in 2022. In Singapore, 23 people die from CVD daily, accounting for 31.4 percent of all deaths in 2022.

This means that almost 1 in 3 deaths in Singapore is due to heart disease or stroke.

In response to these alarming statistics, Singapore Heart Foundation (SHF) announced various initiatives and programmes at this National Heart Week/World Heart Day (NHW/WHD), that are designed to address the country’s elevated blood pressure levels and, ultimately, enhance heart health.

At SHF, we firmly believe that equipping the public with the proper knowledge regarding high blood pressure and other risk factors associated with CVD is an important step in reducing disability and mortality rates related to the disease. Through the various activities and programmes by the Foundation, we aim to educate Singaporeans on crucial information about blood pressure and CVD, while inspiring them to reduce their sodium consumption for the best of their hearts.

Prof Tan Huay Cheem, Chairman of SHF
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To raise awareness of cardiovascular disease (CVD), this year’s event focused on educating participants about the management of sodium intake and high blood pressure.

Excessive salt consumption is associated with an increased risk of hypertension. Yet, on average, Singaporeans consume almost twice the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended daily sodium limit of less than 2,000mg.

SHF made it a priority to focus on controlling salt intake; selecting it as the central theme for this year’s event.

SHF also collaborated with Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) to conduct a Salt Taste Threshold Survey that yielded valuable research findings on the connection between salt taste threshold and hypertension.

The Foundation is collaborating with the Singapore Nutrition and Dietetics Association (SNDA) and The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) to jointly organise a symposium on sodium reduction and the role of salt substitutes on 21 October.

SHF also unveiled its latest initiatives at the event, including the Blood Pressure Awareness Booths and the captivating dance-along theme song “Do the Hugo Pump”.

The song, imparts valuable lessons on heart-healthy habits such as staying active, getting enough sleep, and making wise dietary choices, will be introduced during Assembly Talks at participating Primary and Secondary schools from October 2023.

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SHF joined forces with the Bishan East-Sin Ming Constituency Office in May 2023 to launch a pilot programme featuring 10 Blood Pressure Awareness Booths in community spaces to make blood pressure monitoring convenient and accessible for the public. Designed to empower individuals to prioritise their health management and detect high blood pressure early, these booths have been extended to schools and corporate workplaces, encouraging busy professionals to take proactive steps toward their wellbeing.

Building upon the initiative’s success, SHF announced plans to deploy additional Blood Pressure Awareness Booths at community centres across the East, North, South, and West districts.

Visit this website for more information about the initiatives shared by SHF at NHW/WHD.

Pictures credit to Singapore Heart Foundation.