Risk Factors

The Ministry of Health conducted a National Health Survey in 2010 to find out the level of diabetes, high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart diseases and stroke.

Diabetes mellitus

The prevalence of diabetes among adults increased from 8.2% in 2004 to 11.3% in 2010. A higher proportion of men were diabetic (12.3%) compared with women (10.4%). Diabetes was most prevalent among Indians (17.2%), compared to Malays (16.6%) and Chinese (9.7%).

51.4% of Singapore residents who had diabetes mellitus had not been previously diagnosed.

High Blood Pressure

The high blood pressure (hypertension) level of adults declined from 24.9% in 2004 to 23.5% in 2010. A higher proportion of men were hypertensive (26.4%) compared to women (20.7%). Among the ethnic groups, the hypertension level was highest in the Malays (28.0%), followed by Chinese (23.4%) and Indians (19.3.7%). Prevalence of hypertension increased markedly from age 40 onwards. More than half (53.4%) of the elderly aged 60 to 69 years had hypertension. 

Among those found to have hypertension, the proportion of previously-undiagnosed hypertensives declined from 39.7% in 2004 to 26.3% in 2010.

Smoking

The prevalence of daily cigarette smoking among adults increased from 12.6% in 2004 to 14.3% in 2010. Daily cigarette smoking was much more prevalent among men (24.7%) than women (4.2%). Malay men had the highest prevalence of daily cigarette smoking (45.5%), followed by Chinese men (22.2%) and Indian males (17.3%). 

The prevalence of daily cigarette smoking in both genders was higher than their 2004 numbers. There is also an increase in proportion of smokers in the younger 18-29 age group in males (18.2% to 25.3%) and females (6.6% to 7.3%). 

Regular Exercise

The proportion of adults aged 18 to 69 years who exercised regularly rose slightly from 17.0% in 2004 to 19.0% in 2010. The improvement is seen in both genders and all three ethnic groups. Regular physical exercise was most prevalent among Indians (21.7%) followed by Chinese (19.2%) then Malays (15.3%). It still remains that more men (22.8%) are exercising regularly compared to women (15.2%). However, more than half of Singapore residents (54.0%) did not exercise during their leisure time. 

High Blood Cholesterol

The proportion of adults aged 18 to 69 years with high total blood cholesterol decreased from 18.7% in 2004 to 17.4% in 2010. High total blood cholesterol was most prevalent among Malays (22.6%) compared with Chinese (17.1%) and Indians (12.6%). Of those found to have high blood cholesterol, 44.1% have not been previously diagnosed.

Obesity

The proportion of obese adults aged 18 to 69 years increased significantly from 6.9% in 2004 to 10.8% in 2010. Obesity was more prevalent in males (12.1%) than females (9.5%). Malays had the highest prevalence of obesity (24.0%) followed by Indians (16.9%) and Chinese (7.9%).