Carolyn Lam's Passion For Heart Health
Tatler Singapore|January 2022
From launching Singapore’s first women’s heart health clinic to co‑founding a medtech start‑ up that harnesses artificial intelligence to automate the fight against heart disease, cardiologist Carolyn Lam’s passion for heart health has led her to trailblaze a path in her profession
Karen Tee

Fresh from an invigorating 12 km run in sunny Hawaii, where she is enjoying a long-awaited family vacation, Dr Carolyn Lam is glowing with vitality. The acclaimed Singaporean cardiologist, who is world-renowned for her expertise in heart failure, in particular a type that affects mostly elderly women, knows better than most why it is essential to care for the state of her heart. After all, she has spent her career investigating sex differences in cardiovascular disease and advocating for greater awareness about heart disease among women.

“This is an area that women don’t pay enough attention to. Women need to know that we are just as at risk of heart disease as men,” says Dr Lam, a senior consultant cardiologist at the National Heart Centre Singapore, over Zoom.

“Yes, you heard that right,” she tells me as I gasp in surprise. Despite a common misconception that men are more susceptible to heart disease, it is in fact the leading cause of death for both men and women and represents about one in three deaths globally, including in Singapore. This is why it is essential to get women to focus on more than “bikini medicine” for their breasts and reproductive organs, she emphasises.

“A lot of heart disease is actually lifestyle disease and could actually be prevented if we had just taken better care of ourselves,” says Dr Lam. She established the first Women’s Heart Health Clinic at the National University Heart Centre Singapore in 2011—the first of its kind in Singapore and Asia—and now serves as director of the Women’s Heart Clinic at National Heart Centre Singapore. Additionally, she is the only commissioner from Asia appointed in an international team for The Lancet’s Commission for Women and Cardiovascular Disease.

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