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70% of Emirati men under 30 are obese, diabetic: Experts

Abu Dhabi - Before the age of 50, men are more prone to hypertension than women are, health experts said.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Mon 7 Jun 2021, 2:41 PM

Last updated: Mon 7 Jun 2021, 2:43 PM

Seven in 10 Emirati men under 30 suffer from obesity and diabetes, and the leading causes of death for men in the country are colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, health experts have found.

The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) revealed the statistics as it launched an awareness campaign for June, Men’s Health Month. It reminded men and the youth to keep their health in check and take good care of themselves.

“Making healthy food choices, quitting smoking, seeking medical advice, getting regular checkups, and taking care of their mental health are key to a healthy and happy life,” Seha tweeted on Sunday.

Physicians have recommended that men between 20 and 30 years old should have a complete physical checkup every two to three years.

“The checkup should include tests for diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol and thyroid function. Before the age of 50, men are more prone to hypertension than women are, according to health experts,” said Seha.

Some find certain health checks ‘embarrassing’

According to a survey conducted earlier by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, men in the UAE are avoiding ‘embarrassing’ health checks that could reduce their chances of dying from illnesses that predominantly affect them.

The survey, the details of which were published in January last year, was conducted as part of the hospital’s ‘MENtion IT’ campaign. It examined more than 1,000 men’s recent experiences in healthcare and the type of checks they have had.

According to the results, more than half of men in the study have had their blood pressure (66 percent), cholesterol (50 percent), and blood sugar levels (59 percent) checked in the previous year.

However, other types of test are far less prevalent. When asked if they have ever spoken to their doctor about their prostate, just 25 per cent of men have. The figures vary across cultural borders, with 50 percent of Western respondents prepared to discuss their prostate with their doctor, compared to 30 per cent of Emiratis and just 23 per cent of Asian residents.

A parallel survey conducted by the hospital found that 88 per cent of men had never had a colonoscopy and 34 percent would not have one even if advised to by their doctor. When asked why not, 15 per cent cited embarrassment and 10 per cent highlighted the perceived social stigma.

In addition, only 24 per cent of men surveyed reported that they regularly perform self-examinations for testicular cancer.

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