Dubai: A shockingly high number of people of South Asian origin are suffering from heart attacks at an ever younger age in the UAE, according to local cardiologists.
Dr Naveed Ahmad, from Aster Hospital in Mankhool, told Gulf News: “We get about 2-3 heart cases of heart attacks per day at our hospital, which amounts to about 60 cases a month. Most of the patients who come to our hospital are of South Asian origin,” he added. “The average age of these patients falls between 30 and 40 years.
“The South Asian population has a gene that puts them at a high risk of artery blockages. Combined with consuming high fat and processed food, sedentary lifestyles and stress, this results in early heart blockages and heart attacks.”
If screened early, CVDs can be stabilised with oral medication, a change of diet or by adopting a healthier more active lifestyle. But most people come only after they experience pain.
The hospital’s Catherisation Laboratory which opened in June of last year, has already completed over 1,000 catherisation procedures which means approximately 1,000 people with cardiovascular disease (CVD) have been attended to for examining and clearing arterial blockages and placing stents in one year.
High risk for heart disease
Dr Amal Louis, a consultant interventional cardiologist at Aster Mankhool hospital said: “In most cases if screened early CVDs can be stabilised with oral medication, a change of diet or by adopting a healthier more active lifestyle. But most people come only after they experience pain and by then their arteries are blocked and they are at high risk. In many cases people rush to the emergency ward only after heart attacks and that is why the rate of cardiac attacks is so high.”
The South Asian population has a gene that puts them at a high risk of artery blockages. High fat and processed food, sedentary lifestyles and stress result in early heart blockages.
Dr Louis advised that people who smoked or had a history of heart disease in the family, suffered from stress and led sedentary lifestyles were at particularly high risk of developing CVD.
“Many men from Asian countries stay away from their families in search of livelihood and this is a great contributor to high stress levels,” added Dr Louis. “People often drink less water and with the weather being so hot, they are often dehydrated. Dehydration itself causes the blood to be viscous and encourages clot formation. All these factors collectively trigger heart disease. Along with a genetic propensity for heart disease, I would advise all South Asian people in the age group of 30-40 who have more than two of the high risk factors to undergo preventive screening for CVD.”