Call to adopt healthy lifestyle
THE public must adopt a healthy lifestyle to curb the high incidence of heart disease in the country, said a consultant cardiologist.
Dr Thirunavukkarasu Ganesan of the Gleneagles JPMC Cardiac Centre urged the public to implement preventative measures against coronary artery disease caused by a sedentary lifestyle, being overweight or obese, high cholesterol levels, diabetes and smoking.
He stressed that heart disease, which occurs when there is a blockage of the arteries supplying the heart, can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle.
“We have a world-class medical facility to treat patients who survive a heart attack, but they need to realise that the heart has already suffered permanent damage. That is why prevention is better than cure,” he explained on the sidelines of a press conference at Gleneagles JPMC last Saturday.
Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Brunei with an estimated 7,000 patients suffering from heart failure.
A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to the heart is blocked, causing damage and death of the heart muscle.
Heart failure is commonly caused by coronary heart disease as well as heart muscle damage from infection or drug abuse, hypertension, heart valve or thyroid disease.
Patients with heart failure typically experience breathlessness on exertion, swelling of the lower limbs, fatigue and also breathlessness at night. In the later stages, the breathlessness may worsen and the patient may find difficulty walking short distances.
In Brunei, patients with severe heart failure have been treated with medications to control fluid balance, strengthen the heart and to treat underlying causes of the disease, such as hypertension.
More recently, mechanical heart devices have been implanted into patients with severe heart failure to assist the heart in its function of pumping blood. Brunei’s first left ventricular assist device was implanted in a patient on November 11.
The Brunei Times