The heart is at the heart of your health and it deserves care. Cardiovascular conditions are the most common causes of deaths worldwide. In the UAE alone, over 500 babies are born every year suffering from heart conditions. Studies have shown that cardiovascular conditions amount to the biggest number of deaths in Dubai, with around 30% to 70% of people suffering from some form of heart disease. These are alarming statistics just go to show the lack of awareness among people about their heart.
Dubai is home to a lot of people working under stressful conditions, leading unhealthy lifestyles by eating unhealthy food high in fat and cholesterol and eating at the wrong times. Cardiac conditions are on the rise today even among the younger population. Residents in the UAE are in fact, much more susceptible to heart conditions from a very young age.
The risk of heart conditions in the UAE is alarming because of the unhealthy lifestyle people lead here. Moreover a lot of times people do not take into consideration their ways of leading life disregarding the fact that it is their life at risk. Unhealthy lifestyles cause various health conditions and negatively impact life in various ways. The majority of the people here lead sedentary lifestyles and are engaged in a job that requires them to be seated in front of a screen for hours. However, people despite knowing the same are ignorant towards their health.
Every year the 29th of September is recognized as World Heart Day (WHD), in order to raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases (CVD’s), heart disease and stroke. The aim is to create an awareness among people that unhealthy lifestyle practices can lead to heart conditions. A few simple lifestyle modifications like eating healthy, reducing alcohol consumption and quitting smoking can improve your heart health and overall wellbeing to a great extent. WHD ’17 goes by the theme ‘Share The Power’, in order to motivate individuals to take simple steps to lower their heart and keep their hearts happy and healthy, because a majority of CVD’s can be prevented by making simple lifestyle changes.
The major modifiable risk factors that cause heart diseases are; smoking tobacco, an unhealthy diet, stress and lack of physical activity. Cardiac risk can be reduced by controlling these modifiable risk factors.
Quitting tobacco usage in any form (sheesha/cigarettes) is the most important factor in keeping your heart healthy and preventing heart conditions. The incidence of smoking and sheesha smoking has gone up at an alarming rate. Sheesha smoking in particular in extremely common in this part of the world where every corner has a sheesha joint. In today’s age, most teenagers smoke sheesha, considering it is rather fashionable in the UAE, however the damage it does to the body is alarming. Smoking or even inhaling the second-hand smoke is extremely dangerous for the body. It surely is difficult to quit instantaneously, but that is the least you can do to help your heart. Quitting is tough but not impossible and the results begin showing within months of quitting. It is never too late to quit!
A hearty, healthy diet is also important in reducing the incidence of attack, obesity, and chronic health disorders. Carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, proteins and good fat should be a regular inclusion in your diet. In addition to dietary practices, regular exercise is also required to increase good cholesterol and reduce weight, thereby preventing health issues. In order to stay physically active, it is not necessary to go to the gym or work with heavy equipment. A simple walk for 30 minutes will go a long way in protecting the heart.
Apart from these health conditions, people these days also are extremely stressed out. Stress in itself can be considered a health condition because it could lead to chronic conditions like hypertension, depression etc. Stress could be caused due to various reasons, however, it must be dealt with by oneself.
Heart diseases may be caused due to various reasons. The various risk factors associated with heart diseases like diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity etc. can all be well controlled if they are properly managed by regular intake of medications and frequent monitoring. It is best to maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent heart conditions by controlling the risk factors and lifestyle modifications. In addition to these, humor your heart. Research suggests that laughing and staying happy helps increase the good cholesterol and reduces the stress hormones. Sometimes laughter does seem like a little dose of medication.
Heart health is indeed at the heart of your health. A healthy heart will always beat because nothing can beat it. Do what it takes to have a healthy heart, as small changes in your lifestyle will make powerful changes to your life. Ensure regular visits to a specialist to know your risks and work towards maintaining a healthy heart. Defeat Heart Disease!
Self-Heart Assessment Tool
Are you a person with no regular exercise?
Do you work long hours?
Do you smoke?
Are you diabetic or have high blood sugar levels?
Do you have a family history of cardiac problems?
Do you eat out frequently or often indulge in junk foods?
If your answer is ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, it’s time to get a heart check done.
Aster Clinic, Al Qusais