Materia Medica Malaysiana

April 5, 2008

Rise in heart disease a worry

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:32 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Heart diseases are on the rise in Malaysia despite improvements in health services and facilities.
They were the second leading cause of death in 2006, accounting for 15.5 per cent of those who died in government hospitals. By 2010, they are projected to be the leading cause of death in Malaysia and other developing countries.
According to the Malaysia Noncommunicable Disease Surveillance 2005/2006, the prevalence of risk factors like physical inactivity was 60.1 per cent, hypercholesterole-mia 53.5 per cent, central obesity 48.6 per cent, smoking 25.5 per cent, hypertension 25.7 per cent, obesity 16.3 per cent and raised blood glucose 11 per cent.
“The causes and cure for heart disease are now known and although many cardiovascular diseases (CVD) can be treated or prevented, an estimated 17 million people die of it each year,” Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said yesterday.
He was opening the 12th annual scientific meeting of the National Heart Association of Malaysia at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
Dr Ismail attributed a substantial number of deaths to tobacco smoking which increased the risk, two to three fold, of dying from coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease.
“As the majority of CVD are preventable and controllable, public education is important to address the reduction of risk factors of major CVD,” said Dr Ismail.
The Health Ministry has allocated funds under the Ninth Malaysia Plan for health education and promotional activities to bring down the incidence of heart disease risk factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity.
Dr Ismail said the ministry had also developed a comprehensive cardiac programme which was accessible and affordable to the public.
The ministry has four cardiac centres, one each in Penang, Serdang, Johor Baru and Kuching hospitals. It plans to offer similar services in the Alor Star, Ipoh, Kuantan and Kota Baru hospitals.
There are 17 cardiologists and 17 trainees in cardiology in government hospitals and 150 in the private sector.
National Heart Institute senior consultant cardiologist Datuk Dr Robaayah Zambahari said heart diseases were the main cause of death among Malaysian women.
Of the 15,880 women who died in 2006, 4,152 died of heart diseases and 1,898 of cancer. Similarly, of the 11,394 women who died in 1999, 3,055 died of heart diseases and 1,147 of cancer.

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