KUALA KANGSAR: Malaysians seeking outpatient treatment at the National Heart Institute (IJN) rose 5% to 300,000 last year, comprising mostly people who are obese or practise bad eating habits.
There was also an increasing number of patients in their 20s seeking treatment for coronary heart disease, IJN chief executive officer Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Azhari Yakub said.
“Most of them are either obese, have a family history of heart disease, or they have not been eating healthily and they smoke.
“While people in their 50s and 60s are at risk, it is becoming more common to see people in their 30s and 40s developing heart disease too,” he said.
Acknowledging the rising number of heart patients every year, Dr Mohd Azhari said the statistics could rise to 7% this year.
“Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer in Malaysia for the past 10 years and it is evident that the problem is becoming more serious.
“There is only so much the Government and other health agencies can do in raising awareness on the issue,” he told reporters at the Public Heart and Health Inspection programme here organised by IJN and the Perak government.
Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah attended the programme, which saw more than 1,500 residents here getting free health and dental checks.
For heart patients who face financial constraints, Dr Mohd Azhari advised them to seek financial aid through charitable bodies.
“IJN also gives out RM30mil worth of donation to help provide free treatment to those who need them.
“We welcome donations from the public to help the poor,” he said, adding that these channels were more reliable as they ensured that the funds were genuinely used to help the needy.