Cardiovascular diseases in focus
Manama:, November 29, 2007
Middle East experts are set to discuss the comprehensive picture of risks posed by cardiovascular diseases at an event next month.
“A New Era for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction” conference, organised by Harvard Medical School, will take place from December 5.
The event will be held under the patronage of UAE Health Minister Humaid Mohammed Al Qutami and is being supported by an educational grant from Pfizer.
The congress will provide an important platform to analyse key new international studies on the advances in the management of heart diseases, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and smoking cessation, as well as offering important new research on local challenges and potential solutions.
New research from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, US, and the University of Liverpool, UK, suggests that globally, after decades of decline, deaths due to heart disease appear to have levelled off among young men and may be trending upward in young women.
Researchers believe that this is likely due to poor health habits and the growing numbers of young people who are overweight or obese.
The news is particularly concerning for medical experts working within the Middle East, where evidence suggests that the prevalence of mortality and morbidity due to cardiovascular illness had increased.
“We are entering into a new era in our efforts to reduce the risks associated with cardiovascular disease, because, on one hand, we are more able to diagnose, treat and prevent the most prevalent conditions,” said Gilbert Mudge, MD, course organiser and member of the Harvard Faculty. “However, it is also the case that lifestyle changes and demographic factors are playing a major role in increasing the incidence of cardiovascular disease, particularly in areas like the Middle East.”
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the UAE (41 per cent) and conditions relating to heart disease are prevalent throughout the Middle East. The prevalence of hypertension in Kuwait, for example, is 26.3 per cent, compared to 32.1 per cent in Qatar, 45.3 per cent in Egypt and 33 per cent in Oman.
Many Gulf countries also suffer with extremely high rates of diabetes in adults and children. The UAE (20.1 per cent of adults), Qatar (16 per cent), Bahrain (14.9 per cent), and Kuwait (12.8 per cent) all feature in the international top five countries for highest percentage of adult sufferers.
While discussing the advances in the management of cardiovascular disease, delegates at the conference will also examine the challenges and controversies of hypertension management, new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in cardiovascular risk management and new opportunities for treating coronary artery disease as well as new advances in the smoking cessation era.
“Across the GCC, health authorities and hospitals are working together to find the most effective strategies for dealing with these challenges. We’ve deliberately chosen Dubai as the host destination for the 4th consecutive year because of the major strides that the UAE has made in this area,” added Mudge.
“Pfizer is a long-term partner with Harvard Medical School, as part of our role of helping drive research and treatment updates,” said Dr. Ahmed El Hakim, Director of Policy and External Affairs, Pfizer Middle East.
More than 400 experts from across the Middle East and Africa will attend the event being held at Dubai’s Hyatt Regency. – TradeArabia News Service