SINGAPORE: Many Singaporeans have the misconception that heart disease is a man's disease, said Minister of State for Health Dr Amy Khor on Saturday.
She noted that the misconception exists even when figures in 2011 showed that 29.6 per cent of females died of cardiovascular disease as compared to 31.7 per cent of men.
Dr Khor was speaking at a health event where the findings of the Women's Heart Health Awareness survey were shared.
The survey, through telephone interviews, was conducted by the Singapore Heart Foundation. It covered 995 respondents, between 21 and 64 years of age.
The findings were presented at the Singapore Heart Foundation's annual 'Go Red For Women' public symposium. The event called 'What Every Women Needs To Know' addressed lesser-known facts about heart disease.
The survey also showed that 37 per cent of respondents now own electronic blood pressure monitors, up from 30 per cent in 2009.
This indicated a higher level of awareness of blood pressure being a significant risk factor.
In addition, three-fifths of the respondents knew their good and bad cholesterol levels.
Most respondents (87%) understood that heart disease develops gradually over many years and can go undetected.
There was also a high level of agreement (88%) that exercise is one way to prevent or reduce risk of heart disease, followed by reducing stress (68%), reducing cholesterol (66%), and quitting smoking (61%).
The survey also showed that over 65 per cent of respondents exercise at least once a week.
But many women are still unaware that the onset of menopause increases the risk of heart disease, and that women and men experience different symptoms of a heart attack.
So to promote a healthy lifestyle for Singaporeans, the Health Ministry launched the Healthy Living Master Plan in March.
Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, said: "People always link healthy living to having the time. Many have shared that since they are working and have lots of things to do, they don't have the time.
"As such, this is something we are working very closely, via the different agencies, to see how a healthy lifestyle can be natural and effortless. That means it's at their doorstep. We want to make facilities very close to their home."
According to the Singapore Heart Foundation, one area of concern is the level of health screening among Singaporeans.
So to encourage more Singaporeans to come forward to screen for their body fat, cholesterol and blood pressure, Nex shopping mall has set up a booth where they can do so for free this weekend. - CNA/al
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