Cardiovascular disease still a top killer in Brunei

CARDIOVASCULAR disease remains the second highest cause of death in Brunei Darussalam after cancer.

It contributed to nearly 25% of deaths in 2018, with the age-standardised mortality rate for cardiovascular diseases for all ages being approximately 167 per 100,000 population for both genders, which is higher in men at 205 per 100,000 than women at 135 per 100,000.

This was disclosed by Minister of Health Dr Mohd Isham Jaafar in his welcoming address for the 7th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Cardiac Society Brunei Darussalam at the Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre yesterday.

“The premature mortality rate (age-standardised) for cardiovascular diseases was 131 per 100,000, higher among men at 160 per 100,000 than women at 99 per 100,000; and overall, premature mortality due to cardiovascular disease increased from 20% in 2013 to 26% in 2018, ” he said.

“Worryingly, our surveillance indicates that cardiovascular diseases are increasingly occurring in the younger population, with 14.7% of those undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention being under the age of 40.

“It is especially important to think about new ways to deliver healthcare in this ‘new normal’ and with the epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), there is a need to think about leveraging the lessons learned recently about digital health towards the management of NCDs, including cardiovascular disease.”Citing the World Heart Organisation’s term on eHealth, he said, “It is the use of information and communications technology in support of health and health-related fields, where mobile health (mHealth) is a subset of eHealth, and is defined as the use of mobile wireless technologies for health.

“The term digital health is defined as a broad umbrella term encompassing eHealth (which includes eHealth), as well as emerging areas such as the use of advanced computing sciences in big data, genomics and artificial intelligence.

“Brunei has made great strides in the use of digital health recently with the release of the BruHealth app, which initially was a method to facilitate contact tracing. It has now been utilised and linked with our national digital patient record system, BruHIMS.

“With the introduction of the digital health technology, Brunei’s population has and will be able to benefit further from better planning, management and delivery of healthcare.

“With the capacity of data analytics and artificial intelligence, BruHealth can help identify health system performance gaps, tackle health system challenges and prioritise areas for improvement in healthcare delivery, ” he added. — Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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