Grim Heart Disease Fatality Statistic

Dr Sim warns that despite the latest expertise and advanced technology, on average 9 out of 100 heart patients die

KUCHING: Statistics show that nine out of 100 heart patients in the country will die even with first class healthcare facilities and expertise available.

Minister of Local Government Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said heart disease is still the leading cause of death in Malaysia.

“Doctors cannot cure heart disease. It is only you who can prevent or at least delay the recurrence of a heart attack, a stroke and by-pass surgery,” he said when opening Kuching Heart Week yesterday on behalf of Datin Patinggi Datuk Jamilah Anu, wife of the chief minister.

“Today, we have all the expertise, up-to-date knowledge and advanced technology to provide the best healthcare for people but all these are no guarantee that all diseases, especially related to cardiovascular, can be treated.”

Dr Sim said urbanisation has led to drastic changes in lifestyle and personal responsibility is vital to stop damaging the body.

“What are the causes of heart attacks? The three major coronary arteries of the heart are like water pipes in our house that require good maintenance for them to last. Pipes will get blocked and rusty after 50 years,” he explained.

“We need to take more responsibility for protecting our health. Reckless behaviour like smoking, unhealthy food that are too salty, greasy and high sugar intake can predispose to health problems like obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol.”

He warned that obesity remained a major problem in Malaysia where half the population is “fat or very, very fat” leading to hip and knee pain.

Dr Sim called on parents and teachers to play a greater role in instilling good habits among children.

“Teach them about leading a healthy life from young because prevention is an individual’s duty. Whether you have heart disease or not, you still need to exercise and watch what you eat,” he pointed out.

Events for the three-day campaign organised by Sarawak Heart Foundation (SHF) in collaboration with the Malaysia Heart Foundation include health talks, exhibitions, games suitable for the family, workout programmes as well as art and craft activities for children.

Visitors will have the opportunity to undergo free screenings on body mass index, blood glucose and cholesterol level as well as health counselling by medical personnel.

Those intending to check their blood should fast for at least six hours before the finger prick blood test for a more accurate result.

There are also free anti-smoking tests, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) demonstration, balloon twisting, gymnastic, Zumba, aerobics and folk dance.

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