Awareness of heart disease low among Singaporean women: Survey

SINGAPORE - Only one in 10 women here are aware that heart disease is the leading cause of death for Singaporean women, according to a survey by the Singapore Heart Foundation (SHF) released on Saturday (June 25).

The findings of the 2016 Go Red for Women survey, which consists of 1,000 respondents aged between 21 and 64, were announced as part of the foundation's annual campaign to reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) among women.

"It is a myth that heart disease is a 'man's disease'. Women are affected too," said Parliamentary Secretary for Education, and Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling, who was the guest-of-honour at the inaugural Pledge Your Heart Walk.

On Saturday morning, she joined about 1,600 participants in the 3.5km walk at the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade.

The survey also found that slightly more than half of the younger respondents aged between 21 and 34 did not believe that they were at risk.

"Early prevention is key and women need to acknowledge that heart disease can strike anyone at any age," said SHF's medical director, Dr Goh Ping Ping.

However, she was heartened to note that 96 per cent of the total respondents know that exercise is key to reducing their risk of heart disease, with 80 per cent doing at least some form of moderate exercise each week.

Said Ms Low: "It's easy to incorporate exercise into our daily activities - like playing an outdoor game with our children, doing household chores or simply getting off one bus stop earlier and walking the rest of the distance."

In 2014, close to 30 per cent of women here died from heart disease and stroke, as compared to breast cancer, which stood at about 17 per cent.