You would think that, with statistics like these, people would be more motivated to do something about their heart health such as, say, going for regular heart health screenings.
However, there are those who are resistant to the idea. Ignorance-is-bliss attitudes aside, some claim that heart screenings in Singapore cost too much, with the cheapest costing upwards of $200.
Outweighing the costs
But early heart health screenings are a good way to check your health — and are cheaper than treating heart disease, which can cost even more when it requires a major medical procedure. In the US, Americans spent more than $100 billion on direct health care expenditure for heart diseases in 2010. Here in Singapore, the statistics are similar.
Heart health screening may cost you some money, but it is nothing compared to the money you will need to spend if heart disease becomes a real problem. Maintaining a healthy heart can also help you save money. Here are a few suggestions.
Tips to maintain a healthy heart
1. Reassess Your Diet
A healthy diet is directly responsible for a healthy heart. However, many people are convinced that eating healthy will take a big bite out of their budget — but that doesn’t have to be the case.
2. Make Healthy Snacks
Fruit and vegetables are cheaper than chocolates and chips, so chop them into individual servings and snack on them when you feel hunger strike. That way, instead of reaching for that bag of chips, you are an arm’s length away from something that’s good for your heart.
3. Skip the Ready-Made Foods
Processed foods are not only higher in calories, saturated fat and sodium — which are all bad news for the heart — they also cost more than homemade meals. Stick with fresh ingredients.
You don’t need to invest in a gym membership, which can cost as much as one health heart screening per month. Instead, a 30-minute jog around your neighbourhood two to three times a week costs nothing, and it keeps your heart humming like a well-oiled engine. The best part? Running is easy on the wallet, costs less than dealing with heart disease, and definitely less than a gym membership. Even better, incorporate static exercises into your routine, which can be easily done on the cheap.
5. Stop Smoking
Smoking increases your risk of heart diseases. Not smoking, on the other hand, means that your heart can operate as per normal — and it saves you money, too. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is about $11, which equates to about $330 per month if you smoke one pack a day — that’s equivalent to the cost of a heart health screening package.
Helping your heart health doesn’t have to be expensive. For instance, Mount Elizabeth Hospitals have a built-in Price Assurance Programme to make sure that patients do not have to pay more than the listed price for each medical procedure. For example, for a heart angiogram, you should expect to pay no more than S$4,500 — including an overnight stay. That way, you can stop worrying about the cost and focus on getting better.