Pulse of Asia 2022

Speaker's biography and Meeting abstract

Department of Medical Sciences, School of Medical and Life Sciences,               Sunway University
Abridged CV of Professor Dr Chia Yook Chin

ProfessionalQualification:    MBBS (Mal), LRCP (UK) MRCS (Lon), MRCP (UK)  
                                                 FRCP (Lon) FAFPM

Present Appointment 
• Professor and Head, Department of Medical Sciences, Department of Medical Sciences, School of  Medical Sciences, Sunway University 
• Honorary Professor 
Department of Primary Care Medicine
Faculty of Medicine
University of Malaya
•    Past President, Malaysian Society of Hypertension 2013-2019
•    Hypertension Specialist, European Society of Hypertension 
•    Member, Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Group (AP RAG) for the International Society of Hypertension
•    Member of the Malaysian Guidelines on Management of Hypertension 
•    Co-Chair, Malaysian Working Group, Consensus Statement for Renal Nerve Denervation for arterial hypertension 2021-
•    Founding President, Malaysian Society for World Action on Salt, Sugar and Health (MyWASSH) 2022-
•     International Adviser for Malaysia representing the Royal College of Physicians of London 2013-
•    Director, Graduate Certificate in Family Medicine, Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia 2009-
•    Member of the HOPE-Asia Network, a group of experts from Asia focusing on hypertension research and consensus for Asia 2015-

Editorial Activities and External Reviewer for many national and international journals: 

Research Experience:

1) Research in hypertension both nationally and in international clinical trials

Presentations at National and International Conferences

Invited speaker at many national, and regional conferences and continuing medical education programme

Publications in national and international peer-reviewed journals 

Top 2% most cited scientist in the world for Clinical Medicine 2021-


Meeting abstract

Lecture title:
Population Salt Reduction Initiative in Malaysia: MyWASSH
Yook-Chin Chia 1,2
1 Department of Medical Sciences, School of Medical and Life Sciences, Sunway University, Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia
2 Department of Primary care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

There is ample evidence of the direct relationship of salt intake to blood pressure (BP). Globally, salt intake is high ranging from a mean of 9-12 gm per day and it varies by region. Specifically, regions in Asia like China and Japan have been shown in the INTERSALT and INTERMAP studies to have a much higher salt intake compared to countries like United Kingdom and the United States. The daily salt intake in the adult Malaysian population is 7.9 gm. 
What has also been nicely shown in the DASH study is that reducing salt intake is associated with a reduction in BP and the higher the salt intake, the better is the BP reduction. Hence in the light of the high prevalence of hypertension worldwide, and the positive effect of reduction of salt intake, especially as it comes with no extra cost and is generally free of adverse effects, it behooves all of us to promote reduction in salt intake as it is very cost-effective. Reducing salt intake is also particularly important in Asia as Asians are more salt sensitive compared to Caucasians.
The leading cause of death in the world is non-communicable diseases (NCD). As such the WHO has set several targets for reducing NCD deaths. one of which is to reduce daily salt intake to <5gm/day by the year 2030. The Malaysian Ministry of Health has embraced this call and has come up with a National Salt Strategy. However, the progress of implementing the identified strategies have been slow.
Hence a team of us, partly mooted by the suggestion from Prof Graham MacGregor, a very strong proponent of reduction of salt intake in the UK, decided to set up an organization to help reduce salt intake in the population. This organization called the Malaysian Society for World Action on Salt, Sugar and Health (MyWASSH) aims to educate the public on reduction of salt intake as well as work with policy makers, food manufacturers and food vendors to reduce salt in foods. We also aim to conduct research related to salt intake in Malaysia.
About 6 months ago MyWASSH was officially registered with the Malaysian Registrar of Societies. We have also become an associate member of the World Hypertension League and the International Society of Hypertension, both international societies whom we are going to collaborate with. We have already started our activities in March this year and have plans for more educational activities for the rest of the year. 
It is hoped that by sharing the founding of our society, other countries will also be encouraged to take on the task to help reduce salt intake in their own country. This will help contribute to one of the 7 action approaches proposed by the HOPE-Asia Network and working towards a “zero cardiovascular event in Asia”.

1.    Intersalt Cooperative Research Group. Intersalt: an international study of electrolyte excretion and blood pressure  BMJ. 1988;297:319–328.
2.    INTERMAP study. J Hum Hypertens 2003;17:623-633
3.    Sacks FM et al DASH-Sodium Collaborative Research Group. Effects on blood pressure of reduced dietary sodium and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. DASH-Sodium Collaborative Research Group N Engl J Med. 2001;344:3–10. 
4.    Kario K, Chia YC Siddique S. et al.  Seven-action approaches for the management of hypertension in Asia – The HOPE Asia Network J Clin Hypertens. 2022;24:369–377.