More people are becoming concerned about heart disease but there are still many who do not take the effort to prevent it. In Brunei Darussalam, cardiovascular disease causes the second highest number of deaths after cancer, reaching 25 percent in 2018.
Cardiovascular disease carries risk factors that can be treated or prevented effectively if they are detected early. Habitual risk factors such as smoking or consuming tobacco, unbalanced meals and passive lifestyle can be prevented. Meanwhile, risk factors related to obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol level and diabetes can also be prevented or treated if detected early.
The number of younger heart disease patients is also increasing in the country. The trend is very worrying and in 2018, around 26 percent premature deaths of people below 70 years old were caused by cardiovascular disease. The rate showed a significant increase compared to 2013 when similar deaths totalled around 20 percent.
The Ministry of Health has provided several suitable platforms to raise public awareness and knowledge on heart disease, while giving reminders that it can be prevented by taking steps to reduce the risk factors. One of them is the Healthy Supermarket Programme where the participating businesses provide shelves selling select healthy food and drinks with customer friendly labels. The Healthy Supermarket Programme also aims to empower the public in choosing healthier food and drinks. Changing food types or patterns is among measures that can save your heart. This can be done by selecting specific foods according to the food pyramid, reducing consumption of oils, fats, salt and sugar in the meals.
A person's awareness and commitment to change way of thinking and habit to always maintain the heart's health should be a practice and culture in daily life.
It is the responsibility of every level and party of stakeholders to increase preventive efforts effectively and consistently. With the changes and efforts taken at every level, the burden of cardiovascular disease can be reduced, while at the same time preventing other non-communicable diseases and improving the life quality of the people in Brunei Darussalam.
Source: Radio Television Brunei