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    Jun 17, 2016

    Average age of heart failure sufferer in S'pore is 61

    SINGAPOREANS suffer from heart failure at the average age of 61, about 10 years earlier than Americans and Europeans, a study on Asian patients has found.

    They have heart failure a little later than other Asians, who face it at the average age of 60.

    Singaporeans also have a higher prevalence of coronary artery disease, hypertension and diabetes - the three most common diseases that lead to heart failure - compared with Asians as a whole, Americans and Europeans.

    In Singapore, 58 per cent of patients in the study had diabetes, compared with 40 per cent both in Asia and the United States, and 33 per cent in Europe.

    Presenting the findings yesterday at the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), the principal investigator of the study, Associate Professor Carolyn Lam, said: "In Singapore, we have transitioned rapidly, and it's now the baby boomers who have reached that age of 60, and they are manifesting heart failure from these risk factors."

    The study, involving more than 5,000 patients from 11 regions in Asia, also found that Malays from countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are at the highest risk of heart failure.

    It found that 62 per cent of Malays had hypertension, compared with 58 per cent of Chinese and 43 per cent of Indians.

    "The silver lining is that most cardiovascular risk factors are modifiable. There is a lot we can do to reduce or prevent the risk of hypertension, diabetes and coronary heart disease," said Dr Lam, who is a senior consultant at the department of cardiology at NHCS.

    Simple acts such as walking more and taking the stairs - coupled with eating appropriate portions of food - can cut the risk of getting these diseases and, therefore, heart failure, she added.