People aged between 30 and 39 reported a high number of unhealthy lifestyle factors including lack of exercise and high stress
As many as 71% of UAE residents have at least one major risk factor for heart diseases, according to a new survey commissioned by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in the run up to World Heart Day on September 29.
The research which surveyed over 1,000 UAE residents also found that the most common risk factors reported by UAE residents are also among the most serious causes of heart disease.
Twenty three percent reported high blood pressure, 15% said they have diabetes and 21% are obese.
Lifestyle factors that play a critical role in the occurrence of heart diseases were also common among respondents, with 35% saying they don’t get enough exercise, 32% suffering from high stress and 20% continuing to smoke.
The survey found a high number of unhealthy lifestyle factors reported by people aged between 30 and 39, with some 43% saying they don’t exercise enough and 36% suffering from stress.
While those factors were lower in people aged 40 and above, the group reported higher rates of traditional risk factors such as diabetes (22%) and high blood pressure (35%).
“Our survey shows that, while there is a growing awareness among the population of how lifestyle impacts their heart health, there is still a great deal of work to be done in order to tackle the issues that drive high levels of heart disease in our community,” said Professor E. Murat Tuzcu, Chair of the Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
In addition, 75% of women compared to 68% of men reported they had at least one risk factor or unhealthy lifestyle that may result in heart disease or stroke, with women reporting higher rates of obesity (24%), high blood pressure (24%), stress (40%) and lack of exercise (42%), with more than half (52%) of western expats not getting enough exercise.
Asian expats (22% of whom are reportedly obese) were found to be the most stressed (38%) with higher than average rates of high blood pressure (29%).
The survey found that 37% of Emiratis were unaware that a high Body Mass Index (BMI) increased their risk of heart disease, compared to an average of 29%, and 12% of western expatriates.
The hospital’s 2017 survey revealed widespread misunderstandings of the causes of heart disease, with two in five UAE residents being unaware of the role family medical history plays in heart disease.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is conducting a series of education events as part of its ‘Know Your Heart’ campaign to raise awareness on how to better manage heart health.