Abu Dhabi: Cardiovascular diseases are among the leading causes of death in the UAE and also account for 29.2 per cent of deaths worldwide.

Major cardiovascular diseases include coronary heart disease (heart attacks), cerebrovascular disease (strokes), hypertension, heart failure and rheumatic heart disease, according to the Department of Cardiac Sciences at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC).

"With more than 200 heart operations performed over the last six months we are the biggest cardiac centre in the UAE," said Norbert Augustin, chairman of the department of cardiac sciences.

He said the cardiac department at SKMC has reduced the need to travel overseas for medical care and provides family members an opportunity to participate in the wellness process before and after surgery.

"Statistics show that the family is a vital part of the healing process," said Augustin.

The cardiac sciences division is planning to organise cardiovascular-related conferences, symposiums and activities.