Managing Heart Disease and Fitness

The increased risk of high blood pressure and heart diseases in Singapore ultimately boils down to an aging population, and the growing prevalence of conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Dr Ho Kheng Thye, Senior Consultant Cardiologist at Heart Consultants Pte Ltd, explains that “heart disease is what we call a chronic disease; meaning something that develops over a long term, and something that patients have to live with for years once diagnosed.” He listed the big five causes as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking and a positive family history of premature heart disease. If any individual had any of these five conditions, the risk of developing heart attacks goes up.

In addition, he said that the disease is also partly related to weight and lifestyle. There is an intimate connection between the causes of heart disease with lifestyle. “Individuals who are overweight or smoke are also at increased risk of heart attacks. So my advice is it is important to treat your body well. Make sure you eat correctly. Make sure you exercise enough. Make sure you maintain close to your ideal body weight. Do not smoke. Consult with doctor should you feel any chest pains or breathlessness; especially beyond the age of about 40,” he said.

While fitness is the ticket to pink of health, Dr Ho has this advice for anyone is thinking of starting on an exercise regime for the first time – “Anyone who is thinking of doing a rigorous sports or competition level should be evaluated carefully by a doctor. This is because ”there may be either pre-existing heart disease or an underlying abnormality in the heart structure or function that was not detected previously.”

Article contributed by Dr Ho Kheng Thye, an accredited doctor of Mount Alvernia Hospital.

Note : Please note that health information is provided to supplement the care provided by your doctor. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.   Always seek the advice of your physician if you have any questions regarding a medical condition.

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