Up to 19 people die from cardiovascular disease every day, making it one of our leading cause of deaths in Singapore.
According to StarMed’s Medical Director and Cardiologist, Dr Peter Ting, many heart attack victims are unaware of their risk of developing heart disease until their first heart attack – hence, preventive measures were not taken.
What is coronary artery disease?
Among the spectrum of heart diseases, coronary artery disease is the most common – and the one that we should be most worried about. This is caused by the build-up of plaque in the arteries due to the accumulation of cholesterol in the blood. When this happens, blood vessels are narrowed and blood flow to the heart artery is disrupted. This leads to devastating consequences such death to the heart muscles or a heart attack.
Similar to a heart attack, a stroke occurs when disruption of blood flow to the brain causes damage to the brain tissue. Hence, preventive measure for heart disease also applies to preventing stroke.
Symptoms of coronary artery disease can include central chest pain, tightness that radiates to the jaw and left shoulder, unexpected breathlessness, and fainting spells. While these symptoms present itself as plaque in the artery slowly build up over time, a sudden heart attack can also happen without showing any of these symptoms. A sudden heart attack can happen within minutes when a plaque rupture occurs, leading to a blood clot in the artery.
How can I prevent heart disease?
Most of us are unaware that up to 90% of heart attacks can easily be reversed by eliminating these risk factors from your life:
- High Cholesterol
- Lack of exercise
- Hypertension (high-blood-pressure)
- Abdominal Obesity
- Poor Nutrition
- Excessive alcohol consumption
With that being said, heart disease can also be caused by unconventional risk factors. Hence, predicting if someone (or yourself) is at high risk might not be as simple as it seems.
An athlete who is a non-smoker with healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure might still be a victim of a heart attack, while a heavy smoker can be completely spared of the catastrophe – citing real life examples of professional tennis player, Arthur Ashe; and renowned UK Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill.
According to Dr Ting, calculating your risk score will be useful to get a better gauge of your blood vessel health and your risk of heart disease.
You may get a comprehensive review of your heart and health with a screening which includes test items that such as blood analysis and treadmill or ultrasound stress tests.
At StarMed, a screening package will include a consultation with our specialists who will help you understand your risk factors and provide highly personalised treatments and lifestyle interventions that will get your health back on track.
Book a screening at StarMed or a consultation with Dr Ting by dropping us a WhatsApp at 9655 2101 or calling us at 6322 6333. You may also book an appointment online or drop us an enquiry here.
Learn more from Dr Ting as he answers questions related to cardiovascular disease in the following video: