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29 September 2017


1.     Cardiovascular disease (CVD) including heart disease and stroke are among the leading causes of death in Brunei Darussalam, with 421 deaths in 2016. Many people think heart disease occurs mostly in older people, but numerous deaths from this condition happen well before people reach the age of 75. It is a worrying trend that many people now present with symptoms of heart disease at a young age. In fact, nearly 10% of the people in Brunei Darussalam aged between 40 to 69 years have a greater than 30% chance of having a heart attack or a stroke within their next 10 years.


2.   Why is this the case? There are several risk factors associated with CVD. In Brunei Darussalam, the major ones include obesity, sedentary lifestyles, smoking, high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, diabetes, and eating unhealthy diets. Many of these risk factors are entirely preventable, but taking action now is critical. Brunei Darussalam is currently experiencing an obesity epidemic, and without a swift reversal, premature deaths from cardiovascular diseases will continue to rise, families will suffer, and there will be a severe impact to our economic development. Good heart health is therefore good for our families, communities and our economy.


3.   Heart disease can be prevented by making just a few simple daily changes that can make all the difference to your heart health today and in the future. To commemorate the World Heart Day this year, let us all take a moment to reflect upon how we can all be 'heart healthy.' Just four simple measures can help us win the battle against heart disease:

  • Know your heart - If you think you may be at risk, or have never been checked before, visit your doctor and get checked. Learn about your ideal weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  • Fuel your heart - We eat and drink too much food that are high in sugar and saturated fat. Eat less, and eat well. Ensure that we consume five portions of fruits and vegetable a day, and drink water instead of sugary drinks.
  • Move your heart - Aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, like brisk walking, throughout the week.
  • Love your heart - by avoiding activities and chemicals which can harm it. Stopping or avoiding smoking is the single best thing one can do to improve their heart health.


4.   Today on the World Heart Day, we urge the people in Brunei Darussalam to make a commitment to make healthy choices for your heart. The burden of CVD can be reduced but we must all act now. The focus on preventive actions in conjunction with the World Heart Day are well-aligned with the strategic priorities of the Ministry of Health which are to make Health everyone's business, deliver excellent services through alignment and consolidation, as well as to prevent and control non-communicable diseases.


5.   With the theme 'Share the power', for this World Heart Day, we are asking you to share how you power your heart and inspire your family and friends to be heart healthy. As individuals, we can share the power by understanding our own and our families' risk of heart disease and act to improve it. As a community we can share the power by inspiring one another to live longer, better, healthier lives. Together, we can empower Brunei Darussalam to be a 'heart-healthy' nation.