Abu Dhabi: The Health Authority — Abu Dhabi (Haad) is rolling out a wellness programme over the course of the year in a bid to reduce alarming percentages of heart-related diseases across Abu Dhabi.

In her presentation on Preventive Health Measures and Public Health: the Role of Primary Care, Dr Cother Hajat, section head, public health programmes at the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (Haad), cited some alarming numbers on cardio-vascular diseases (CVD) among Emiratis, which she said "could be preventable by a rate of 90 per cent with the right health awareness programme in place."

She added: "Seventy-one per cent of the young Emirati population [average age 35], have at least one CVD risk factor. Eight per cent males and two per cent females are at high risk of developing cardio-vascular diseases [CVD] in the next ten years."

Diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, and obesity are prime factors that lead to cardiovascular metabolic disorders.

Haad figures demonstrate that 44 per cent of Emiratis have evidence of either pre-diabetes or diabetes, which has resulted in 750 heart attacks/mortality rates, each year among a young Emirati population.

"The rate of overweight and obese Emiratis, as young as 20 year olds, has reached 68 per cent. In response, Haad is undertaking an ambitious CVD health care programme and societal approach for Abu Dhabi. The role of primary care is pivotal in the delivery of this and similarly other public health care interventions," said the Haad official.