KUCHING: Heart patients in the country are getting younger and the trend is worrying, said Sarawak General Hospital Cardio-Thoracic Unit head Dr Prashant Joshi.
He said the youngest patient who underwent heart bypass surgery here was 27.
The youngest person who has suffered a heart attack and treated at the hospitals heart centre was 24.
Dr Joshi, who had worked in Melbourne for almost five years, said that in Western countries, most of the heart patients who sought treatment were between 60 and 65 years old compared to most Malaysian heart patients who were between 40 and 50.
He said heart diseases were related to unhealthy lifestyles.
About 95% of heart patients who went for surgery are smokers, he told reporters yesterday.
Dr Joshi earlier led a delegation to brief state Tourism Minister Datuk Abang Johari Tun Openg on the seventh annual sceitific meeting for heart surgeons which the city would play host to from June 7 at the state Tourism Complex.
Some 400 delegates from the world are expected at the three-day conference.
SGH cardiologist unit head Dr Sim Kui-Hian said other main causes of heart diseases were diabetes, high cholestrol, high blood pressure and genetic.
He said the hospitals heart centre had done 672 open heart surgeries since becoming operational in October 2001.
Almost all the patients it operated on were Sarawakians.