The Heart Exhibition held over the weekend at Mid-Valley Exhibition Centre saw over 50,000 visitors learning about heart disease.
One in four Malaysians have some form of heart disease. Yet, many remain unaware of the dangers of cardiovascular disease.
The recently concluded Heart Exhibition marks an urgent and significant wake-up call to Malaysians to start taking care of their hearts and prevent heart disease.
The Heart Exhibition is a joint initiative of the Yayasan Jantung Malaysia (YJM), National Heart Association of Malaysia (NHAM), Women’s Heart Health Organisation (WH2O) and Institut Jantung Negara (IJN).
It was officially launched on Saturday by Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar, Deputy Director of Disease Control, Ministry of Health.
The two-day event held at Mid-Valley Exhibition Centre saw an overwhelming number of Malaysians throng the exhibition to learn about their hearts.
The exhibition featured Malaysia’s first 3D giant heart structure – a heart-normous replica of the human heart. It gave over 50,000 visitors a chance to know what it feels like to be a tiny microorganism embarking on a journey inside the human heart.
Besides learning about cardiovascular function and the possible damage caused by a heart attack, this educational tour also included an exclusive Fit-o-Fun Heart Rider Challenge and ECG tests.
Over 3,000 individuals were screened for heart disease risk factors and counselled by qualified healthcare professionals. There were also heart-health talks conducted by heart experts from NHAM and YJM for the public.
In the event, Dr Zainal revealed that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause (about 35%) of deaths in individuals aged less than 60 years in Malaysia. He added that more than 8,000 new heart patients are recorded annually.
Many Malaysians are jeopardising their heart health without realising it. It is estimated that 26.6% of people with high cholesterol are unaware of their condition, while for every new patient diagnosed with diabetes, there are another two out there, undiagnosed. Hypertension also afflicts more than 12 million Malaysians. These conditions lead to coronary heart disease or stroke, and the alarming fact is that those afflicted are younger than our Western counterparts.
President of NHAM, Datuk Dr Rosli Mohd Ali, shared: “As demonstrated in the National Cardiovascular Disease Database, the average age of those admitted with heart attack is 59 years, seven years younger than the global Grace Registry, where the average age is 66 years.”
“Malaysia has earned the dubious ‘honour’ of having the highest obesity rates in South-East Asia, and she is ranked in the top 20 among ‘obese’ nations around the world! We are also the 10th laziest country in the world in terms of physical inactivity. These are certainly not flattering nor encouraging statistics,” stressed Datuk Dr J.S. Sambhi, chairman and founder of YJM.