Health Authorities advocate screening for prevention of heart disease

hypertension 867855 640Dubai Health Authority, Emirates Cardiac Society and World Heart Federation discussed the importance of regular health screening to protect against cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease has claimed more lives than all cancers and chronic lower respiratory diseases combined. More than 30 million heart attacks and strokes occur each year. Of those who experience a heart attack or stroke, one in three will live to suffer another episode.

World-renowned experts discussed ways to prevent the further escalation of heart diseases at the World Congress of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Health, held at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Dr Fahd Baslaib, interventional cardiologist and CEO of Rashid Hospital, said, “The difference between our region and other places in the world in terms of heart disease is that we have a high incidence of diabetes. The average age of heart attacks is 50 to 55 years as opposed to 65 years in western countries. This is a significant difference and advocates the need for urgent lifestyle modification.”

Baslaib added that a high incidence of diabetes coupled with other lifestyle-related diseases is the main reason for the high prevalence of CVDs. “We need to educate our community to regularly screen themselves so that they can prevent heart diseases. There is a close link between hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, tobacco use and heart attacks,” he stated.

To raise awareness about High LDL-C (also known as ‘bad cholesterol’) which is one of the key modifiable risk factors for CVD, free cholesterol screenings took place on 6 December 2018 at the Dubai Fountain area. More than 1500 people benefitted from the free screening.

Campaign partners also showed an LED video on Burj Khalifa to highlight the importance of early screening for the prevention of CVD and the link between high cholesterol and CVD.

The three-minute public awareness video was broadcasted in English and Arabic and hundreds of people witnessed the event from the Dubai Fountain area.

Mohammed Nasser, general manager, Amgen GCC, commented, “The awareness drive encourages high-risk patients, such as those who have already suffered from a heart attack or stroke, to speak with their doctor to help reduce their LDL-C. We know the prevalence of heart attack and stroke is projected to rise. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of LDL-C levels help us identify patients who may need additional treatments to lower their high cholesterol.”

Baslaib concluded, “A significant number of heart attacks can be prevented by managing and reducing modifiable risk factors. Some risk factors, such as family history, cannot be modified, while other risk factors, like high blood pressure, can be modified with treatment. The more risk factors a person has, the greater the likelihood of developing CVD, unless action is taken to modify the risk factors.”

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