Almost 12 per cent of Emiratis in the UAE suffer from cardiac problems brought on by obesity, an inactive lifestyle and smoking among other risk factors, said an expert.
The four-day World Congress of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Health 2018 organised by the World Heart Federation for the first time in Dubai was attended by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.
The president of Emirates Cardiac Society, Dr Abdulla Shehab, told Khaleej Times that the results were from an ongoing study Weqaya undertaken upon 200,000 Emiratis in Abu Dhabi.
“The study was started in 2008 and it is ongoing. We are trying to make it better. But through this study, we see that the figure of those afflicted is higher in the upper age limit and lower in the lower age limit,” he said.
He also said that the study looked into the reasons for the high incidence of heart diseases among the Emiratis and found that one-third of them were obese, two thirds were overweight, one in two had high blood pressure, a third had diabetes and 14 per cent of the youngsters smoked.
“These are high-risk factors and all of them are modifiable – which means 90 per cent of deaths related to cardiovascular disease can be prevented. Fast food availability is very easy now and healthy food is expensive. It is important to teach children the importance of eating healthy and staying fit,” said Dr Shehab.
Prof David A. Wood, president of the World Heart Federation, said: “Although mortality rates from cardiovascular disease are falling worldwide, the burden of disease, as measured by the number of deaths, is increasing, especially in the middle and low income countries where many of these deaths are premature.”
Dubai to establish Cardiac Centre
In his address to the international delegates, Humaid Al Qattami, director-general of the Dubai Health Authority said Dubai is in the process of establishing a state-of-the-art cardiology centre.
The Cardiac Centre will host a 110-120-bed facility to treat cardiac emergencies, along with inpatient and outpatient services. The centre will be located in the Rashid Medical Complex with easy access to and from the Rashid Medical Complex Emergency and Trauma Centre.
The centre will offer a one-stop-shop approach, with an integrated care continuum supported by evidence-based international best practices, with a focus on screening and early detection. It will also emphasise physician access to clinical affiliation, research and technology innovation.
cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death across the world. The cardiology department is the second-busiest unit in Rashid Hospital after the Emergency and Trauma Centre.