KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — Malaysian women are increasingly affected by heart ailments that are the nation’s number one killer, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

She said that over the years, women heart patients have increased worryingly.

“Women deserve special attention in this disease. Traditionally we have associated heart disease affecting more men than women.

“However over the years, the prevalence of heart disease among women is catching up from 20 per cent in 2014 to 22 per cent in 2017,” she said during the launch of the MyStemi Foundation at Bukit Kiara here on Thursday.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also the women, family and community development minister, said the problem was worsening as the population aged.

She said treatment within two hours of a heart attack was vital to save lives.

She said MyStemi Foundation and others like it were complementing the Health Ministry’s efforts.

This includes the Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (Primary PCI) method that is now the gold standard of treatment worldwide and boasted better survival rates in heart disease patients.

“This has become a new hope, especially to women heart disease patients.

“With enough help to beat the cause, the cause will give a good prognosis on health to administer the treatment within the first two hours,” she said urging the public and corporate to support MyStemi.

MyStemi Foundation was established in 2018 to help support heart attack patients and to ensure that they receive the best possible treatment. Providing access to the most up-to-date treatment will lead to a better quality of life for patients.

Their network of nine public hospitals in the Klang Valley was set up to facilitate a patient's transfer between five hubs hospitals with cardiologists on standby to carry out the Primary PCI treatment.

The five hubs are the National Heart Institute, Universiti Malaysia Medical Center in Petaling Jaya, Serdang Hospital, Universiti Teknologi Mara Hospital in Sungai Buloh and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Center in Cheras.

The foundation’s goal is to increase the current access to Primary PCI treatment from 17 per cent to 50 per cent by the year 2025.