SINGAPORE: A recent survey by the Singapore Heart Foundation has highlighted a significant gap in awareness regarding women’s health.

The “Women’s Heart Health Survey” found that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women globally. Still, despite its prominence, many women mistakenly believe breast cancer to be the number one cause of death.

Among the 1,000 Singapore women surveyed, only about 10% accurately identified cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death among women. In contrast, approximately 40% incorrectly thought breast cancer was the primary killer.

This misconception was most pronounced among Chinese respondents, where only 43% of those who correctly identified the leading cause of death belonged to this demographic group.

Locally, cardiovascular diseases account for about 30% of female deaths annually, highlighting the critical need for improved public education and awareness on this issue.

The survey also explored exercise habits and attitudes towards physical activity, which are essential for preventing heart disease.

Alarmingly, nearly 90% of local women fail to meet the recommended 150 to 300 minutes of exercise per week. Common barriers include lack of time, fatigue from work, and general inertia.

However, the findings offer a silver lining: more than 80% of women indicated they would be more inclined to exercise if they had the support of partners, family, or friends.

Furthermore, 86% expressed a willingness to encourage others to exercise regularly. These results suggest that community-driven initiatives could play a pivotal role in overcoming obstacles to regular physical activity.

In response to these findings, the Singapore Heart Foundation continues to focus on community engagement to boost awareness and encourage a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Since 2016, the Foundation has organized the biannual Pledge Your Heart Walk, a key event promoting heart disease prevention. This year’s walk took place at Jurong Lake Gardens, attracting about 2,000 participants.

Senior Minister of State Sim Ann, the guest of honour, highlighted the importance of collective effort in promoting regular exercise and said that the community could play a very positive role in encouraging a healthy lifestyle for women. /TISG