UAE: Why are more residents under 30 suffering heart attacks?

Sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy eating habits, stress and obesity are the primary causes behind young people developing cardiac problems, doctors say.

Dr Chaudhary said that there is no single answer on why cardiac issues are affecting residents at such a young age, but studies suggest genetics, lifestyle changes, dietary habits and stress as some of the likely risk factors.

He also pointed out that in the last 20 years, there has been a tremendous change in the lifestyle of people in the UAE. “Our physical activities have decreased, we have started eating more fried and fatty fast food, we have all moved to a sedentary office lifestyle, cigarette smoking has increased, consumption of alcohol has increased, the incidence of hypertension, diabetes, obesity and dyslipidaemia is increasing in pandemic proportion,” explained Dr Chaudhary.

When risk factors increase and there is a change in lifestyle, combined with a decrease in physical activities, it leads to an increase in psychosocial stress, and all this contributes to the onset or occurrence of heart attacks at a much younger age, he pointed out.

Dr Chaudhary also said the the younger generation’s eagerness to achieve a lot as quickly as possible, may also be a contributing factor. “This eagerness to achieve everything puts immense psychological and emotional stress and that is one of the major risk factors,” he said.

So is there a way to predict heart attack or risk of CVD? Yes, say doctors.

These include risk scores and novel biomarkers such as hsCRP, lipoprotein, Apo B/A ratio, calcium score on CT coronary angiography that helps stratify patients into low, intermediate, and high risk categories.

“But if you are asking, can we accurately predict heart attacks, the answer is no. The best one can do is focus on modifying or prevention of known risk factors, especially staying away from stress and smoking — the leading killers,” said Dr Chaudhary.

Don’t worry be happy

Leading a healthy, happy life along with regular check ups will go a long way in keeping you safe.

Covid and heart problems

While cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes as major risk factors for heart diseases, after the pandemic, people previously infected with Covid-19 have reported a rising incidence of cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular problems, including abnormal heart rhythms, heart muscle inflammation, blood clots, strokes, heart attack, and heart failure have witnessed a marked increase among Covid-infected, including those who had mild infection, said UAE doctors.

How do we fight back?

There are some factors such as age, gender and race that cannot be changed. However, risk factors such as smoking, obesity, stress, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits are modifiable factors that can be changed. Countries such as Japan, Korea and France have the lowest rates of heart disease because they eat healthy and exercise regularly — it’s their way of living that renders them at a lower risk of CVD.

Cardiovascular diseases in the UAE

  • Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is a one of the leading cause of deaths in the UAE and worldwide, followed by cancer, road accidents
  • According to MoHAP, the death rate from CVD in the UAE in the last couple of years was 70-80 per one hundred thousand population
  • In the UAE, 1 in every 3 deaths is from CVD
  • The total number of deaths from CVD in the UAE till 1990 stood at one million. The same has soared to seven million by 2017 — a seven to eight-fold increase
  • Almost half the patients who visit MoHAP facilities with CVD are young — age 35 or below.

Read Full Story: Khaleej Times

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