Heart failure strikes earlier in Asians, including Singaporeans

SINGAPORE - The average heart failure patient in Asia, including in Singapore, is 10 years younger than someone in the West, a new international study led by the National University Heart Centre in Singapore has found.

This is even though Asians tend to be slimmer and have a lower body mass index (BMI).

The study of 11 Asian countries - including India, China, Malaysia besides Singapore - found that the average age of heart failure here is 60. In Europe and the United States the condition is most common in those that are about 70.

The study surveyed more than 2,000 people over 11 Asian countries, including 214 in Singapore.

Researchers say one explanation for these numbers is due to the higher rates of diabetes and hypertension in the region. In Singapore, hypertension was a major risk factor behind 72 per cent of heart failure cases.

However, experts also stressed that the condition is "largely a preventable disease", and can be avoided by living a healthy lifestyle.

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