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SINGAPORE: A new study of more than 15,000 Singaporean patients revealed women admitted for acute coronary syndrome — or the sudden blockage of arteries — were twice as likely to die as men.

Experts at the 8th Go Red for Women symposium, organised by the Singapore Heart Foundation, stressed that women must take action to care for their heart.

Acute coronary syndrome patients can experience tightness around the chest which usually leads to heart attacks and strokes.

Women’s risk for heart disease also increases after menopause, as oestrogen levels drop.

In fact, heart disease and stroke are the top killer of women.

Contrary to popular belief, cardiovascular diseases kill five times more women than breast cancer.

Health experts said heart disease could be under-diagnosed among females because symptoms may manifest differently, for example, in unexplained fatigue or pain in the jaw.

Experts said heart disease is mainly preventable through healthy diets and regular exercise.

Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said: “Age, gender and heredity are some risk factors for heart disease and stroke that you cannot change in your lifetime.

“But there are behaviours that you can adopt to change other risk factors.

“This includes not smoking, controlling your high blood pressure and high cholesterol, preventing obesity and physical inactivity, and managing diabetes and stress.”

Dr Khor said there is little excuse for avoiding those jogging shoes, as the government has invested heavily in new outdoor spaces, from park connectors to mall walks in shopping centres.

Health authorities are also working towards better screening initiatives.

A new Women’s Health Advisory Committee is in the pipeline to better educate women about good health.

The Go Red for Women campaign is part of an international movement led by the American Heart Association, to encourage women to take action in reducing their risks of heart disease.

CNA/wk

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