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Every Beat Counts: Mastering Heart Disease Risks with Health Screens in Singapore



Embark on a heart-healthy journey with essential health screens in Singapore. Discover prevention strategies and lifestyle changes for a stronger heart.


 

In the heart of Singapore, where the pace of life mirrors the bustling streets and vibrant communities, the importance of heart health takes on a critical role. 


Globally, heart disease casts a long shadow, leading as one of the top causes of mortality. For Singaporeans, navigating the complexities of heart health is not just about medical statistics; it's about preserving the quality of life in a city that never sleeps. 


This article aims to demystify heart health, shedding light on the risks, prevention, and the undeniable power of early detection with the help of health screenings.


What is Heart Disease?

Heart disease represents a spectrum of conditions that impair the heart's structure and function, manifesting in various forms that affect millions globally and across Singapore. 


Among these, coronary artery disease stands out, characterised by the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, a direct result of plaque accumulation. This condition can lead to angina, heart attacks, and even heart failure if left unchecked. Other forms include congenital heart defects, which are structural issues present from birth, and arrhythmias, where the heart beats too quickly, slowly, or irregularly.


In Singapore, heart disease remains a leading cause of death and disability, underscoring the critical need for heightened awareness and proactive management. Recent efforts to elevate heart disease awareness and the push for early detection are making strides in addressing this challenge. 



For instance, the Singapore Heart Foundation's report indicates that cardiovascular diseases accounted for nearly 31.4% of all deaths in 2022, a figure that highlights the urgent need for continued focus on heart health. 23 people die from cardiovascular disease (heart diseases and stroke) every day. This means that almost 1 out of 3 deaths in Singapore is due to heart diseases or stroke.


The battle against heart disease in Singapore also shines a light on the risk factors contributing to its prevalence, including lifestyle choices and genetic predispositions unique to the Singaporean population. With an ageing population and a rising incidence of lifestyle-related risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, the importance of understanding heart disease in all its forms has never been more critical. It is the foundational step towards crafting effective prevention strategies that can reduce the burden of heart disease on individuals and the healthcare system alike.


What are the Risk Factors for Heart Disease?

Modifiable Risk Factors: Singapore's unique lifestyle presents specific challenges in managing modifiable risk factors for heart disease. 

Factors such as:

  • Smoking: A prevalent issue, despite stringent regulations.

  • High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: Widespread concerns, exacerbated by dietary habits.

  • Diabetes: Increasingly common in the population.

  • Physical Inactivity: A consequence of urban living.

  • Obesity: A growing problem among adults and children alike.

  • Unhealthy Diet: High in saturated fats and low in nutrients, often a result of convenience eating.


Non-Modifiable Risk Factors: Certain aspects, such as age, family history, and ethnic background, remain beyond our control. Singapore's diverse population, with its rich tapestry of genetic backgrounds, faces unique vulnerabilities and challenges in heart health.


Identifying Your Risk in Heart Health

For Singaporeans, understanding personal risk factors is crucial. Tools and methods for risk assessment, such as the Heart Risk Calculator, endorsed by health organisations, offer valuable insights. These resources empower individuals to take charge of their heart health, fostering a culture of prevention over cure.


For Singaporeans navigating the journey towards optimal heart health, recognising and understanding personal risk factors emerge as a pivotal first step. The landscape of heart health is intricate, with various elements contributing to an individual’s overall risk profile. 


1. Empowerment Through Knowledge:

Knowledge, as they say, is power. By understanding one's risk factors, Singaporeans are better positioned to take proactive steps towards heart health. There are tools out there to demystify the often complex medical jargon and concepts, making heart health more accessible and understandable. 


They empower individuals with the knowledge needed to initiate conversations with healthcare providers, laying the groundwork for a tailored approach to heart health that could include lifestyle modifications, regular screenings, or even medication.


2. Fostering a Culture of Prevention:

The adoption of risk assessment tools signifies a shift in the healthcare paradigm—from a traditionally reactive approach to a proactive, preventative stance. 


By identifying risk factors early, individuals can implement preventative measures to mitigate these risks. In Singapore, where the healthcare system emphasises preventative care, such tools play a crucial role in educating the public and encouraging early action to prevent the onset of heart diseases.


The Role of Regular Health Screenings

Regular health screenings play a pivotal role in early detection and management of heart disease risk factors. 



Our team at Advantage Medical Group emphasises the importance of screenings that can reveal critical health insights:

  • Blood Pressure Checks

  • Cholesterol Levels

  • Blood Glucose Tests

  • ⁠CT Calcium Score

  • ⁠CT Coronary Artery

  • Abbott HS Troponin Test

  • ⁠Treadmill ECG Stress Test


AMG has a range of comprehensive health screening packages designed to assess these and other vital health metrics, providing a baseline from which to enact positive lifestyle changes. 


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How You Can Create a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle in Singapore

Here's how you can make small, sustainable changes that cumulatively contribute to significant improvements in heart health:


1. Incorporate Physical Activity

Leveraging Singapore's beautifully designed public spaces can significantly enhance your daily physical activity. Consistency and enjoyment are key to sustaining an active lifestyle:

  • Utilise the city’s park connectors for biking or jogging, offering picturesque routes that make exercise enjoyable.

  • Participate in group exercises or water sports at community centres, combining fitness with social engagement.

  • Consider active commuting methods, such as walking or cycling to work, to combat sedentary habits and invigorate your routine.


2. Eat Wisely

Singapore's culinary diversity is a treasure trove of heart-healthy eating options. Making conscious food choices allows you to savour the rich flavours while nurturing your heart:

  • Embrace local produce, incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables into your meals for a fibre-rich diet.

  • Opt for dishes prepared through steaming, boiling, or grilling at eateries, enjoying the local cuisine without the added fats.

  • Practice portion control, particularly with richer foods, balancing indulgence with moderation to maintain heart health.

3. Manage Stress

The city’s fast pace can escalate stress levels, impacting heart health. Integrating stress management techniques into your lifestyle can mitigate these effects:

  • Engage in mindfulness or meditation, dedicating a few minutes daily to stress reduction.

  • Pursue hobbies or activities that relax and fulfil you, providing a counterbalance to work-related stress.

  • Explore yoga or tai chi, which blend physical activity with mindfulness to alleviate stress effectively.


4. Quit Smoking

Smoking cessation is among the most significant changes you can make for heart health. In Singapore, where the hustle and bustle may heighten stress levels, smoking can seem like a stress relief method for some, yet its impact on heart health is profoundly negative:

  • Take advantage of smoking cessation programs available locally, which offer support and resources tailored to help you quit.

  • Replace smoking with healthier stress management techniques, such as exercise or hobbies, to handle stress without compromising your heart health.

  • Seek support from community groups or healthcare professionals, leveraging a network of encouragement and advice to overcome the challenges of quitting.




Adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle in Singapore is not merely about making adjustments to your diet and exercise regime; it’s also about embracing a holistic approach that includes stress management and quitting harmful habits like smoking.


The takeaway

Understanding and preventing heart disease requires a proactive approach to health. By recognising the risk factors, both modifiable and non-modifiable, and taking steps to mitigate these through lifestyle changes and regular health screenings, Singaporeans can significantly improve their heart health.


Don't wait to take control of your heart health. Contact us today to schedule a comprehensive health screen test. With our support, you can gain the insights needed to embark on a heart-healthy lifestyle, ensuring you live longer, more carefree and healthier.


Your heart health journey starts with us—take that first step today.

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