The incidence of heart attacks among young individuals in the UAE has been rising in recent years. Premature coronary heart diseases (CHDs) occur earlier in people in this region compared to Western countries. Research has shown that premature coronary heart diseases, which can result in heart attacks, occur about 10-15 years earlier in the UAE than in Western countries.
According to the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), the death rate from heart disease in the UAE in the last couple of years was 70-80 per 100,000. This alarming rate indicates the seriousness of the problem in the country.
Dr. Juwairia Al Ali, President of the Emirates Cardiac Society (ECS), stated that around 40 percent of adults in the UAE are at risk of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD), but most are unaware of the risk until they experience severe conditions like a heart attack or stroke. ASCVD is a condition in which plaque buildup occurs in the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis.
Various risk factors contribute to the development of cardiac diseases in the UAE. High levels of bad cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, can lead to the formation of plaque in the artery walls. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can stress the arterial walls and make them more susceptible to damage. People with diabetes often have abnormal blood sugar levels, which can damage blood vessels and accelerate the development of cardiac disease.
Other factors that increase the risk of heart disease in the UAE include smoking, lack of regular exercise, unhealthy diets, and a family history of heart disease. Additionally, stressful lifestyles, family or work stress, and harsh working conditions also contribute to heart attacks in the 35-45 age range.
It is crucial for individuals to be aware of the symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, and pain in the jaw, neck, back, arm, or shoulder area. Acting quickly and seeking immediate medical attention is vital in improving the chances of survival and minimizing heart damage.
To reduce the risk of heart disease, lifestyle changes are essential. Modifiable risk factors, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking, and managing stress, play a significant role in maintaining good heart health. It is recommended to exercise for more than 150 minutes per week and include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, skinless poultry and fish, and unsalted nuts and legumes in the diet.
Addressing the rising incidence of heart attacks among young people in the UAE requires a comprehensive approach that focuses on raising awareness, promoting healthy lifestyles, and ensuring access to appropriate medical care and treatment.
– Emirates Cardiac Society (ECS)
– Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP)
– Novartis Gulf
– Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Hospital, Dubai