A poll undertaken by leading global health insurance services and health care company, Aetna International, has revealed almost a third (31%) of Millennials in the UAE are unaware of the causes or symptoms for heart disease, when cardiovascular disease is the leading cause for death in the region.

The research conducted through YouGov found that 32% of UAE residents surveyed have never taken steps to check for heart disease with less than a quarter (22%) actively monitoring their diet to prevent it. The results clearly demonstrate a need to strengthen awareness about the condition amongst all UAE residents, both male and female of all ages.

Despite heart disease being the leading cause of death in the region, underpinning Aetna International’s recent research is the myth that the illness is only a cause for concern amongst older people.

“In the past two decades we’ve observed a high prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as obesity, physical inactivity, and poor diet, among young individuals living in developed countries,” says to Dr. Charu Thadani, Director of Aetna’s Care Management program. She went on to explain that the rate of substance abuse is also increasing among young adults, whereas cigarette smoking might be declining. Among younger individuals (aged 18-50 years), the incidence of cardiovascular diseases over the same time period has either been steady or has increased, in contrast to the trend towards a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease in adults aged more than 50 years.

Health professionals have stated that if the risk of heart disease is detected earlier, causes and symptoms can be managed better, lowering the risk and cause of death later in life. The study uncovered that 15% of millennials don’t know what are risk factors of heart disease, making it difficult to take early corrective actions or avoid complications.

Further to this, 14% of UAE residents aged 35-39 years old think that excessive use of cell phones is linked to having heart disease.

When asked what the main reason for not visiting a doctor if they suspected illness would be, 19% of millennials said they would think they are probably worrying about nothing, while 27% of Emirati nationals said that they would likely be too busy to go and see a doctor.

This Valentine’s Day, Aetna International is urging all UAE residents to take care of their hearts in order to lead a happier and healthier life.

“The old mantra rings true,” Dr. Thadani says, “healthy mind, healthy body. Managing risk factors such as obesity, substance abuse, smoking and physical inactivity along with stress level are the effective ways to help take care of your heart.”

 

Source: Grayling