Wednesday, November 20, 2013

35pc of cardiovascular disease-related deaths below 60 years of age

Cardiovascular diseases continue to be the leading cause of deaths at the health ministry's hospitals where about 35 per cent of deaths involve those aged less than 60 years, notes the minister, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
He said there were 8,000 new heart patients annually and heart disease was the Number 1 killer in the country for the past three decades.
“More alarmingly, Malaysian children are just as vulnerable to the risk of cardiovascular diseases. These risks can begin before birth during foetal development and increase further during childhood with exposure to unhealthy diets and lack of exercise,” he said in his speech during the launch of the Sunway Pyramid Healthy Living here today.
He said the ministry was very concerned over the growing number of Malaysian adults and children who suffered from cardiovascular diseases.
Dr Subramaniam said disabilities and deaths from cardiovascular diseases were occuring amongst the economically productive members of the Malaysian population.
“In addition to its negative impact on the quality of life, cardiovascular diseases increase the economic burden of individuals, families and communities and reduce the productivity of the country. This has also put a tremendous strain on Malaysia's public health care system,” he added.
At a press conference later, the minister said lifestyle diseases or non-communicable diseases caused mainly by eating habits and less emphasis on physical activity was a burden to the country.
“There is also increase in the use of tobacco among women. To combat these lifestyle diseases, the health ministry has outlined a major campaign for healthy lifestyle. It is better to keep people healthy than to treat them after they fall sick,” he added.
On a proposal brought up in the Dewan Rakyat recently, to limit the operating hours of 24-hour restaurants as a means to fight obesity, Dr Subramaniam said it needed to be discussed with the urban wellbeing, housing and local government ministry. — Bernama
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