Guard against ill health, even at a young age

Ms Stephanie Lim's positivity and strength have inspired me greatly ("Hit by stroke while seven months pregnant"; May 24).

Her story is a grave reminder that serious health conditions can hit anyone at any age and at any time.

Being in my mid-20s, I have been complacent in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, much less set aside time to go for regular health screening.

I believe many Singaporeans my age are in the same boat, because we think illness strikes only "older people".

However, one in four Singaporeans aged 40 and above suffers from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, and, according to the World Health Organisation, chronic diseases will account for almost three-quarters of deaths worldwide by 2020.

The Health Promotion Board recommends that adults go for general health screening from the age of 18, or even earlier, depending on the individual's family history.

Of course, keeping healthy should mean holistic health management. While we strive to keep up with our busy lives, we should not neglect our emotional health.

Being a working professional, I have had many moments when stress took a significant toll on my mental health.

I am not alone in this. Reports have shown that more young people are seeking help for emotional health issues such as depression.

Threats to our health exist everywhere. I urge everyone, especially young adults, to always remember to keep themselves healthy by making time for health-related activities and preventive health screening.

Most importantly, these efforts must start early.

Rachel Ngo Shu Qi (Ms)