Dubai summit highlights cardio issues
Dubai, May 21, 2011
Cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke) that accounts for almost one third of all deaths in the UAE is in spotlight at an ongoing major collaborative event in Dubai.
Around 300 delegates from across the region are attending the two-day summit called ‘Emirates Societies Unite to Improve Cardiovascular Outcomes’ which opened yesterday (May 20) at the Al Murooj Rotana in Dubai. The event is supported by Novartis Pharma, a major provider of cardiovascular and diabetes medications.
The meeting is being hosted by the Emirates Cardiology Society, Emirates Diabetes Society and the Emirates Nephrology Society, which are all part of the Emirates Medical Association in Dubai.
The event aims to streamline and improve the medical management of diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease that are interlinked by the underlying conditions of hypertension (high blood pressure), dyslipidemia (high blood lipids) and microalbuminurea (protein in the urine) – which all need to be effectively treated to reduce the risk of patients developing, and dying from, cardiovascular disease.
By working together, the three UAE medical societies aim to better understand each others’ treatment rationales and improve communication, which in turn should ensure optimum care is achieved for all patients.
Presentations at the summit will focus on global best practice in the management of hypertension and type 2 diabetes which affect 41 per cent and 20 per cent of the Emirati population, respectively.
“Bringing the three societies together will align our practices enabling us to work in a collaborative way in treating all patients and reducing the burden of death from the country’s three biggest diseases,” said Dr Wael Al Mahmeed, immediate former president of the Emirates Cardiology Society.
“This is the first time the three groups have got together in this way and it is very important for improving the management of diabetes as cardiovascular disease and kidney disease are the major two complications for diabetes patients,” said Dr Fatheya Al Awadi, board member of the Emirates Diabetes Society.
One of the first steps doctors can take to ensure they are not missing signs of other conditions is to check every patient’s A.B.C.D. E (albuminurea, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and estimated kidney function), said Dr. Mona Al-Rukhaimi, president of the Emirates Nephrology Society.
“Up to 50 per cent of patients in UAE who are on dialysis for end-stage kidney disease have diabetes as the underlying cause, and patients with diabetes also suffer from cardiovascular disease,” Dr Al-Rukhaimi said.
“In fact studies have revealed that the predictive value of renal insufficiency and microalbuminuria is comparable to that of pre-existing coronary artery disease and is even superior when they are present together.”
“So as you can see we are all dealing with the same types of patients, if together the three societies can increase awareness among doctors about checking every patient’s A. B. C. D. E then we will be able to prevent people from suffering heart attack, stroke and end-stage kidney failure,” she added.
The three societies hope that their collaboration will result in the development of new local treatment and referral guidelines for all patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
“By the end of the meeting we hope that all three societies will be following the same international guidelines for the treatment of hypertension, diabetes and microalbuminurea, and that we will have made some headway in drawing up local referral guidelines between the specialties,” said Dr Al Mahmeed.
“We hope that this initiative will serve as a role model for other medical societies in the Middle East and North Africa region, and that we will be able to establish specific guidelines on the gold standard treatment of hypertension and kidney disease in those with diabetes,” added Dr Al Awadi, who is representing the Emirates Diabetes Society at the event.
Latest UAE Ministry of Health data show that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the country, accounting for 28.7 per cent of all deaths, while diabetes alone is the cause of three percent of deaths.
A breakdown of the figures shows that acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) makes up 28 per cent of these deaths, cerebrovascular disease (stroke), 16.2 per cent, hypertensive disease (high blood pressure) 13.0 per cent and ischaemic heart disease (heart failure) 12.3 per cent.
Further data from the US reveals that 44 per cent of all new cases of kidney failure are a direct cause of diabetes – a figure supported by a local study carried out in Al Ain that found 41 per cent of those diagnosed with diabetes suffer from microalbuminuria, an indicator of kidney disease. – TradeArabia News Service