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Put your mind to tackling matters of the heart

Put your mind to tackling matters of the heart

Death rates due to Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) are on the rise across Middle Eastern countries.

By Sandhya D'Mello

Published: Sat 28 Sep 2019, 8:00 PM

Last updated: Sat 28 Sep 2019, 10:29 PM

Hospitals across the county are undertaking awareness campaigns and free heart checkups on World Heart Day today and residents are urged to avail of the service.
Death rates due to Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) are on the rise across Middle Eastern countries - UAE with 38 per cent, Kuwait with 46 per cent, Egypt with 40 per cent and Lebanon with 47 per cent of total deaths. Fighting CVDs by adopting the right preventive measures is key to build the bridge for a long healthy life.
Speaking about the rise of CVDs, Dr Naveed Ahmed, specialist interventional cardiologist at the Aster Hospital Mankhool, said: "We see approximately two to three cases of heart attacks - major plus minor heart attacks - per day in our hospital either as a walk-in or referred from other clinics and hospitals."
Ischemic heart disease is still the number one cause of death in the world, more than cancer-related deaths. "I believe more awareness is required regarding ischemic heart disease by governments and private organisations as it is increasingly being seen among younger populations. This is due to multiple risk factors apart from being southeast Asian race - smoking, lack of adequate sleep, psycho-social stress, unhealthy food habits, lack of exercise," said Dr Ahmed.
"We see the early onset of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke and cardiac arrests. There are advanced techniques available today to treat cardiac conditions. Even before one progresses to that stage of critical management, one needs to strike a balance and discipline one's lifestyle," added Dr Anil Bansal, consultant interventional cardiologist at the Zulekha Hospital
Dr Ahmed Al Jeboury, specialist interventional cardiologist, Prime Hospital, said: "These days, everyone in the community are actively participating in building up of knowledge and awareness for a heart-healthy lifestyle. Early recognition and active treatment is a must for this major killer. I appreciate the initiatives taken by the government to prevent chronic diseases."
One of the many  awareness campaigns, 'Building Bridges to Heart Health' launched by Bayer, includes screening events, artificial intelligence (AI) powered diagnostics solutions, as well as medical education to promote better heart health.
"We have made a commitment to increase knowledge and awareness around one of the most common causes of mortalities, CVDs," said Mohamed Galal, vice-president and head of Bayer Middle East Consumer Health.
"Through the campaign, our underlying objective is to build bridges between healthcare professionals, consumers, caregivers, as well as policymakers among others. We will also partner with heart and cardiology associations in the region to spread more awareness among patients and those at risk of CVDs.
"Our goal is to build a better, healthier future for people in the region. This will be achieved by collective efforts in creating a sense of urgency and awareness around CVDs as well as its implications. We have a growing heart disease problem, and our work will help allow individuals to change their behaviours and improve their lives," noted Galal.
Mediclinic Middle East, part of Mediclinic International, and Carrefour, operated by Majid Al Futtaim in the UAE, are also offering free heart health checks today. Complimentary assessments, which include random blood cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements, will be available to all residents at selected outlets.
"Our programme of free health checks to support World Heart Day is designed to raise awareness of the causes and symptoms of heart disease amongst as many people as possible, and to encourage people to take the necessary preventative action through a healthier lifestyle," said Dr Pietie Loubser, chief clinical officer, Mediclinic Middle East.
In line with the World Heart Day, the Indian Consulate in Dubai, the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) and Zulekha Hospital partnered further with two significant campaigns - The Fit India Movement, encouraging people to include physical activity and sports; and, Save Hearts, educating individuals to be first responders in emergencies and practice Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 
"While technology enables our daily tasks to ensure increased productivity, the human mind and body need to also be powered by exercises and good practices to sustain in the long-run," said Vipul, Consul-General of India in Dubai.

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