Good progress but Singapore must continue fight against cardiovascular diseases: Gan Kim Yong

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong speaks  during an interview on Feb 3, 2017.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong speaks during an interview on Feb 3, 2017. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore has made good progress in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, but people should continue to adopt preventive health measures and take responsibility for their own health, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong.

"Between the years 2000 and 2015, the premature mortality rates for ischaemic heart disease and stroke were halved," said Mr Gan.

"However, significant challenges remain. In 2015, about one in three deaths was attributed to cardiovascular diseases. The Global Burden Disease 2015 Study reported that cardiovascular diseases contributed one-sixth of the total burden of disease in Singapore."

He added that cardiovascular conditions are strongly associated with diabetes, with one in two heart attack patients and two in five stroke patients also suffering from diabetes, hence the need for the War On Diabetes launched by the Ministry of Health last year.

Mr Gan was speaking at the 21st Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology Congress held at Suntec Convention Centre on Thursday (July 13).

He also listed examples of the progress Singapore has made in cardiology treatment, such as the National Heart Centre Singapore's discovery of a new gene related to tissue scarring, and the National University Health System's recalibration of the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events risk score to better stratify patients by risk categories, customised to the Asian population.