Healthy lifestyle best way to avoid heart, other ailments

National 1 minute, 59 seconds


MORE than 85 per cent of patients with heart failure will gradually worsen and die within five years, said a consultant cardiologist from Gleneagles JPMC.

Speaking at a heart disease event, Dr Thirunavukkarasu Ganesan yesterday told Ministry of Defence (MinDef) personnel that “prevention is the most valuable option” as the majority of heart failure patients will experience deteriorating health despite optimum medical care.

He said a healthy lifestyle will help to reduce the risk factors of a heart attack including high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

The consultant cardiologist, who is also director of non-invasive cardiology, recommended eating healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and poultry. He added that fish should be consumed twice a week as a “delicious way to help your cholesterol levels”.

“Enjoy at least 45 to 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Brisk walk, cycling, swimming, jogging, dance – whatever you love to do, do it,” he said.

In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, Dr Ganesan explained that physical activities should be undertaken frequently and consistently. He also advised the audience to quit smoking and avoid exposure to second-hand smoke.

“Check for other risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, unduly stressful lifestyle, overweight and obesity. Pay attention to correct them,” he said.

He further pointed out that preventing heart disease is a shared responsibility between families and schools as well as other educational institutions. A healthy lifestyle, he stressed, should be developed from childhood with regular exercise and healthy habits.

“Each one of us should live and lead by example so that we become the winners in the fight against heart disease,” said the consultant cardiologist.

Held at the Bridex Conference Hall in Jerudong, the event aimed to raise awareness about heart disease in conjunction with World Health Day. It also featured a talk on a heart healthy diet by Gleneagles JPMC dietitian Nor Arfah Mohd Taib as well as a health exhibition and free health checks.

In attendance was Permanent Secretary Datin Paduka Hjh Suriyah Hj Umar as the guest of honour together with other senior defence officials as well as civilian and military personnel.

Heart disease is the second leading cause of death behind cancer 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.

The Brunei Times