Dubai: One in 15 people in Dubai is diagnosed with hypertension, according to the latest survey by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
The results, jointly conducted by the DHA and the Dubai Statistics Centre, are part of the Dubai Household Health Survey, and are based on interviews with 5,000 respondents in Dubai.
The high burden of hypertension among residents stems from many risk factors that are abundant in the lifestyle here, primarily obesity, diabetes and sedentary lifestyle with the widespread consumption of junk food
In a media statement, Laila Al Jassmi, CEO of Health Policy and Strategy Sector, DHA said, “The results provide a detailed breakdown of the percentage of hypertensive people in the emirate with age, gender, nationality, income bracket and other parameters. These will eventually help us in formulating our public health policies and developing our awareness campaigns to target this audience base.”
Amal Salim Al Halyan, Senior Research Specialist, Health Policy and Strategy Sector at the DHA added that hypertension is known to trigger off diseases such as stroke and cardiovascular diseases so hypertensive people have to be very careful about their diet and lifestyle.
Of the prevalence of hypertension among the population of Dubai, Dr Hatem Soliman, specialist, critical care medicine at Al Zahra Private Hospital, UAE, told Gulf News that the percentage is not surprising.
“The high burden of hypertension among residents stems from many risk factors that are abundant in the lifestyle here, primarily obesity, diabetes and sedentary lifestyle with the widespread consumption of junk food.”
He explained that all these factors add to the etiology of hypertension. “Without controlling all these factors together; correction of this ratio will be a sort of the impossible,” he said.
Speaking to Gulf News, Dr Mustafa Nisar Khan, emergency medicine physician, Saudi German Hospital, Dubai, said that hypertension can lead to health complications. “A person with hypertension can develop cardiac issues leading to a cardic arrest or heart failure. It can also result in stroke and kidney failure among others.”
The fact hypertension has no initial symptoms makes it necessary to depend on regular medial check-ups, according to Dr Khan. “Most cases, hypertension tends to be discovered as an incidental finding. Rarely people go to the doctor to check for hypertension; it is discovered during a medical check-up. I advise residents to visit a doctor every six months. Further, if diagnosed early, it can be controlled through diet and medication.”
The DHA has previously provided data on the percentage of the population that exercises in Dubai, percentage of smokers and the percentage of the population prone to developing cardiovascular diseases.