KUCHING: People who wish to donate their organs should lead a healthy lifestyle, said Sarawak General Hospital cardiology head Prof Dr Sim Kui Hian.
He said this was to ensure that their organs were healthy when harvested later for the transplants.
"If you want to be an organ donor, make sure you live a healthy lifestyle. We do not want lungs, for example, from a smoker," he told reporters when announcing activities for World Heart Day here Wednesday.
This year's World Heart Day theme is "Team up for healthy hearts."
The activities, which are jointly organised by the Sarawak General Hospital and Sarawak Heart Foundation, include a public cardiovascular screening campaign at Kuching City South Building on Saturday, walk a mile event at the state library lakeside terrace on Sunday and a free public health talk at state library auditorium on Nov 4.
Prof Sim urged organ donors to pledge all their organs as there were donors who only pledged their corneas or kidneys.
He said heart disease was the world's largest killer and the number of cases was always on the rise.
"Anyone, whether rich or poor, old or young, can get a heart attack.
"There are more smokers reported in rural areas, and among farmers and factory workers. So, they are more at risk of getting heart disease," he said.
Prof Sim said the youngest patient who underwent open heart surgery at the Sarawak General Hospital was only 24 years old.
In a press statement, the Sarawak Heart Foundation said it had spent over RM5mil to sponsor more than 200 heart patients for treatment in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and here from 1997 to 2001.