Dubai: Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) in the UAE is striking younger people in the age group of 35-45 with the incidence being highest in Asian expatriates and Indian expatriates being the most vulnerable, a recent clinical study has indicated.

The ongoing clinical study conducted by Aster Hospitals, Dubai, covers the period between mid-June to mid-September 2018 and covered 142 patients who were referred to their Cardiac Cath Laboratory with manifestation of CAD.

Of these nearly 106 patients were under the age of 55.

Nearly 66.2 per cent of the patients were Indians with 14.2 being from Pakistan. Other expatriates were from Bangladesh, the Philippines, UK , Egypt, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria and Serbia.

Elaborating on the nature of the data, Dr Sachin Upadhyaya, specialist cardiologist, said: “Heart disease is striking nearly a decade earlier in people of the Indian subcontinent. This study is based on pure empirical data and it is a cause for concern that now 30-40- year-olds are stricken by CAD.”

Giving further details on the nature and scope of the study, Dr Naveed Ahmad, specialist interventional cardiologist at Aster Hospitals, said: “The main cause for worry is the fact that the mean age for CAD in this region is much lower than the rest of the world where the high risk group falls in the age group of 55 and above. In our study of the 142 patients who were referred to us in various stages of CAD requiring surgical intervention, 57 per cent of them were in the age group of 40-60 years, 74.6 per cent were in less than 55 years of age group followed by 31.7 per cent who were less than 45 years of age with only 11.3 per cent being above the age of 61 years. Nearly 88 per cent of patients were from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and neighbouring countries.”

Dr Ahmad cautioned that the study was reflecting what was the tip of an iceberg of the widespread incidence of CAD.

Prevention better than cure

The study corroborates data from previous studies that indicate that Asian males, especially from the Indian subcontinent, have a genetic predisposition to cardio vascular and coronary artery diseases.

Dr V. Ramanathan, medical director of the Aster Hospitals, said: “While age, gender and genetics are non-modifiable factors, other factors such as life style changes, five servings of fruits and vegetables, healthier diets with high nutritional value, cutting out smoking, getting physical exercise and reducing stress levels are things that can be modified and have a great impact on reduction of the incidence of CAD.

"In the index of symptoms in our study we found that people who were diabetics, were smokers or suffered from high cholesterol, hypertension and other conditions were high risk category and had developed CAD earlier. “

The doctors cautioned that the younger generation that normally thinks itself to be invincible needs to be educated and must go in for earlier preventive checks.

The team will continue to document similar cases and continue to collate clinical data to widen the scope of the study.


What you can do to prevent heart disease:

1. Cut smoking out completely as smoking even one cigarette puts you into the high risk category

2. Reduce harmful lipids low density lipoprotein (LDL) by introducing greater portions of fruits and vegetables in your diet, avoiding oily, fatty food

3, Diabetics need to be vigilant about their sugar management and must be regular in their check-ups

4. Physical fitness must be a part of your lifestyle. Cut out being a couch potato; work out, walk, take the stairs wherever possible

5. Healthy lifestyle will reduce chances of hypertension which is another high risk factor for CAD

6. Avoid stress and loneliness by participating in community activity

7. Go in for preventive screening and take the TreadMill Test (TMT) sooner than later