Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Getting to the heart of the matter

Lyna Mohamad

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Brunei Darussalam remains the second highest cause of death after cancer, contributing to nearly 32 per cent of deaths in 2019. The age-standardised mortality rate for CVD for all ages was approximately 175 per 100,000 population (in 2019) for both genders; higher in men (at 197 per 100,000) than women (151 per 100,000).

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar highlighted this during the launch of National Hyperlipidaemia Guidelines 2022 yesterday.

“The premature mortality rate (age-standardised) for CVD was 139 per 100,000 – again higher among men (at 190 per 100,000) than women (84 per 100,000),” the minister said, adding that the Sultanate has also seen an increase in the number of CVD deaths among younger patients.

“CVD deaths among individuals aged 39 and below increased from 23 in 2009 to 40 in 2019, in tandem with the overall increase in the number of CVD deaths.

“This brings an increase in burden on the healthcare services as well as the socio-economic impact on young individuals, families and communities.

“Overall, the premature mortality due to CVD has increased from 26 per cent in 2012 to 32 per cent in 2019 (preliminary 30 per cent in 2021),” the minister explained.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar. PHOTO: LYNA MOHAMAD

One of the major risk factors for the development of CVD in Brunei Darussalam is hyperlipidaemia, along with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity and smoking.

Hence, the minister said, it is imperative to identify and treat at-risk patients early, before the development of CVD.

“The Ministry of Health (MoH) values the efforts made by local medical societies, including the Cardiac Society Brunei Darussalam, in their continued efforts to standardise treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hyperlipidaemia and hypertension, in line with current trends as well as international standards. Guidelines such as these will no doubt increase clinician confidence and improve the overall quality of care of local patients.

The guidelines encourage healthcare professionals to regularly screen patients for hyperlipidaemia and to make use of verified international risk factor calculators to aid in their eventual treatment strategy.

They also emphasise the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle as part of a hyperlipidaemia treatment.

The minister urged the public to get screened for NCDs as early detection and treatment can save lives.

“The measures and guidelines in place hope to eventually translate into a reduction in the burden of heart disease in the country,” Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said, adding that the MoH is committed to the prevention and control of NCDs as one of Health Strategic Plan 2019-2023 goals.