Heart disease is a real and present concern across the whole community in the UAE
Over 44 per cent of UAE residents fear dying of heart disease, a new YouGov survey has revealed. Women were more likely to register this as a concern (49 per cent) than men (43 per cent).
The survey, commissioned by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in the lead up to World Heart Day on September 29, revealed a broad consensus among UAE residents about the risks of heart disease.
The survey of social attitudes towards heart disease revealed widespread concern about the illness across the country, with heart doctors calling for greater education on the topic.
Over 76 per cent of survey respondents said they believed people under 40 should be more concerned about the illness.
The survey sought responses from more than 1,000 UAE nationals and residents to a series of questions about heart disease and its root causes.
Despite broad awareness of heart disease among the population, there was less understanding of the factors that influence a person’s heart health, particularly among younger people.
Surveyed UAE nationals and residents between the ages of 18 and 29 were significantly less likely to be aware of the role family history can play in a person’s risk of developing heart disease. More than half of young respondents – 51 per cent – said family history was not a factor in heart health, despite experts agreeing that people with a family history are significantly more likely to develop some form of heart disease over their lifetimes.
Most respondents – across all age groups, nationalities, income groups and emirates of residence – indicated they felt they could control the health of their heart, with 79 per cent responding in the affirmative. Strikingly, the level of confidence increased as respondents in the survey group got older, with 85 per cent of people over 40 saying they could control their heart health, compared to 74 per cent of people under 29.
“The results of this survey show that heart disease is a real and present concern across the whole community in the UAE and the region, and that more people are looking for support in managing their heart health,” said Dr Rakesh M. Suri, chief of staff and chief of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
“It demonstrates that the campaign against heart disease needs to be multidimensional – improving health education and also ensuring that everyone has access to the advanced technologies and sophisticated therapies that can treat heart issues as they occur.”
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