Lifestyles blamed for high heart disease risk in children, women

DUBAI — Methods of monitoring lifestyles in children and women in the country need to be changed to prevent the onslaught of heart diseases, said an expert.


Asma Ali Zain

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Published: Wed 22 Sep 2010, 11:49 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:43 PM

One in every five persons in Dubai is at risk of developing heart disease, said experts pointing to the lack of research and data.

They also said that the neglected group — children and women — are at equal risk of developing heart diseases due to poor lifestyles.

“We have primitive monitoring methods while the outreach is also low, especially among this group,” said Dr Ahmed Gabroun, Specialist Cardiologist at Canadian Specialty Hospital in Dubai.

“Heart disease starts developing at an early age while the symptoms start showing only later,” said the doctor while presenting a talk organised by the Dubai Health Authority on the occasion of World Heart Day that is observed on September 26 each year.

“Lifestyles have changed… Women smoke as well and this places them at equal risk of developing cardiac problems as men,” said the doctor.

“In fact, women are more at risk than men,” he said.

The InterHeart study done in 52 countries including the UAE pointed to smoking and hypertension as being the main reasons behind the increase in heart diseases worldwide.

“It is a known fact that cardiovascular disease, which results in heart attack, heart failure and strokes, is the leading cause of death globally and the UAE is no different,” said Dr Wafaa Ayesh, Director of the Clinical Nutrition Department at the authority.

“In fact, in the Middle East region, the average age for patients with heart attacks is ten years younger than in many western countries. Research has shown that a high prevalence of diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure in this region are factors that lead to cardiovascular diseases.”

“The irony is that these are mainly lifestyle diseases and although lifestyle modification can greatly reduce the chances of developing a cardiovascular disease, such changesare not easily implemented,” she said.

She said besides lack of exercise, the problem also lies with dietary patterns in the region, which shows a high level of daily consumption of fat and carbohydrates.

She also said that because most of the people who have diabetes in the UAE are young, heart attacks also strike at a younger age than seen in other parts of the world.

Meanwhile, Deira City Centre is supporting World Heart Federation’s initiative on World Heart Day themed ‘I work with Heart’ and revolves around ‘Workplace Wellness.’ Deira City Centre will be offering free BMI, blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol testing for all visitors on September 24-26.

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