Friday, May 27, 2011

'Cardiac disease No.1 killer of women in the world'

By PMA RASHEED The Gulf Today, 6 May 2011

Dubai: A quarter of all deaths in the UAE are caused by cardiovascular diseases (CVD), while globally 35 per cent of women are living with various cardiac disorders, according to a specialist cardiologist in Dubai.
Cardiovascular disease is still considered to be a man's disease, but it causes the death of almost the same number of women too.
Dr Nooshin Bazargani, Specialist Cardiologist at Dubai Hospital and Head of Emirates Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Group (ECDPG), revealed that out of the 17.5 million deaths from cardiovascular disease each year globally, over 8.6 million are women.
"It's more than the total number of women, who die from all cancers, tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS and malaria combined. The CVD is the number one killer of women in the world," she added.
Dr Bazargani was speaking at the second edition of "Go Red for Women" campaign, a global initiative to raise awareness about the risk of CVD among women, organised on Thursday at Deira City Centre in tandem with Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
According to her, most of these cardiovascular deaths could be avoided through awareness on effective change in life. "Their attitude should be modified towards adopting preventive measures on the major risks such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol level, unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyle."
Dr Fahad Omar Ahmed S Baslaib, Head of Cardiology at Rashid Hospital and President of Emirates Cardiac Society, indicated that the risk factors for women are largely similar to men, including family history of the CVD, smoking, stress and other major reasons.
"However, some factors play a greater role in women than men. About 22 per cent of the UAE population dies due to cardiac problems. Half of them are women, who are either under-diagnosed or under-treated," he pointed out.
Dr Laila Al Jassmi, CEO of Health Policy and Strategy Sector at the DHA , said that lifestyle diseases can be prevented by following a balanced diet and healthy exercise patterns. "The number of women with the CVD highlights the magnitude of this problem."
Dr Arif Abdullatif Al Mulla, Head of Cardiology at Dubai Hospital, said: "Diabetic women suffer from the risk of chronic heart disease eight times more than non-diabetic women. In diabetic men, the risk is of cardiac disorders is only three times more than non-diabetic men."
"In women, the combination of oral contraception and consumption of up to 15 cigarettes per day is associated with a three to five fold increase in coronary risk, for women who smoke more than 15 cigarettes per day, the risk increases by twenty fold," he added.
"The post-menopausal state uniquely augments the risks of the CVD for women. Depression also increases the risk of the heart attack in women at 70 per cent. As twice as many women as men are depressed, this becomes a major risk factor for the sex," elaborated Dr Al Mulla.
The Gulf Race 1 gender analysis study, which was conducted in 2009 across six Gulf States to compare men and women who are admitted to the hospital with heart attacks, showed that cardiac diseases among locals and expatriates in these countries are equal. Whereas, 80 per cent of heart attack cases among women were of citizens and  expatriate women- 20 per cent.
Dr Bazargani noted the study had indicated that the outcome of the heart attack is more eventful in women than in men.
"This means women with heart attacks have more complications as compared to male patients. Women are more at higher risks of bleeding, heart failure (weakness of the muscle of the heart) and are more at a risk of death," she concluded.


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