Survey: 98pc of Malaysians think they are healthy but nearly 75pc diagnosed with NCDs
KUALA LUMPUR, Marc 31 - The majority of Malaysians seem to think they are in the pink of health due to regular exercise and keeping a healthy, balanced diet, according to a recent survey.
The survey, titled the State of Health of the Nation by The Green Zebras on behalf of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and Novartis Malaysia, found that seven in 10 respondents exercise at least once a week.
Meanwhile, 51 per cent of participants said they have healthy eating habits.
In general, 98 per cent of the respondents believe they have good or average health.
Despite the optimistic perception, three-quarters of those who attended a health screening in the past were diagnosed with some form of non-communicable disease (NCD).
The survey found that 37 per cent of the participants had high cholesterol, 29 per cent had high blood pressure, 13 per cent had diabetes and 10 per cent live with other health issues.
According to MMA president Dr Muruga Raj Rajaturai, it is worrying that many Malaysians do not give much importance to health as many skip health screenings.
"While observing a healthy diet and exercising will lower the risk of heart disease, it should be noted that regular check-ups are equally important as other factors such as age, gender, stress management and family history of high cholesterol can affect heart health.”
Dr Muruga said the survey found 46 per cent of respondents had someone in the family living with heart or cholesterol-related complications.
"Of this group, 42 per cent resulted in death.
"Despite having a family history, respondents in this group did not take any notable steps to prevent heart disease.”
He added that in healthcare, prevention was key as better outcomes could be achieved with early detection.
"We urge all Malaysians with a family history of high cholesterol to go for scheduled health screening to be updated on their health status.
"Most importantly, seek advice from your doctor on any necessary treatment if cholesterol levels need to be managed.”
Novartis Malaysia country president Mohamed El-Wakil said it was no surprise that high cholesterol topped the list of health issues following a health screening.
"In fact, four out of ten Malaysian adults have high amounts of bad cholesterol in their bodies.
"This is why Malaysians with cardiovascular disease are 10 years younger than those from advanced countries. About 25 per cent of patients are below 50.”
The survey was conducted online in December 2022 in both peninsular and east Malaysia.
The data gathering was based on a nationally-representative method of the overall population by location, gender and race.
A total of 500 samples were collected for the study.