Study finds link between market volatility and heart failure hospitalisation in Singapore.
It may not be just your finances that
are hit when your shares plummet
in value. A local study has found an
association between stock market
volatility and heart failure hospitalisation
Researchers from the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) observed
that whenever stock prices
changed – regardless of whether
they went up or down – there was
an increase in hospitalisation for
heart failure patients.
But the study, which was published
recently in the International
Journal Of Cardiology, found no
impact on mortality, heart attacks
The researchers looked at daily
stock performance data from the
Singapore Exchange (SGX) from
2001 to 2012 and compared it with
the number of deaths, heart attacks,
strokes and heart failure
hospitalisation cases taken from
They then looked at the daily and
weekly changes in the SGX and compared
the data with the number of
cardiovascular events and deaths.
Air pollution levels, which can
have an effect on heart disease,
were taken into account.
“The take-home message is that
good health is not just about taking
medication and the risk factors that
can contribute to disease. The emotional
well-being of the patient is also
important,” said Associate Professor
Yeo Khung Keong, senior
consultant at the department of cardiology
in NHCS, who was involved
in the research.
“Emotional well-being should be
something that both patients and
physicians take into account.”
But Prof Yeo admitted that one
limitation of the population-based
study was that it was hard to determine
the exact cause behind the association.
Researchers did not have access
to data such as the patient’s age,
gender or whether he had invested
in stocks or shares.
Dr Jonathan Yap, senior resident
at the department of cardiology in
NHCS, who was also involved in the
research, said that stress due to the
volatility in stock markets could be a
reason accounting for increased
heart failure hospitalisation.
But the stress does not just come
from stock prices going down.
Intense emotional or physical
stress can cause rapid and severe
heart muscle weakness known as
“broken heart syndrome”.
“When stock prices go up, it’s still
an emotional thing,” said Dr Yap.
“When people encounter very happy
events, it could also trigger heart
failure. It’s more a case of extreme
Financial consultant Poa Kheng
Sin, 61, who makes long-term and
short-term investments, said: “People
who invest need to be financially
and mentally prepared for the
worst. If you’re not prepared, then
you shouldn’t invest.”