What can the UAE do to address the problem?
Dr Baslaib listed the steps the UAE health care authorities were taking to address CVD’s high incidence:
“The GCC heart registry has all important data on CVD in the UAE which helps us get a clear picture of the challenge we face. We have begun screening people at a younger age - 35 - for CVD, to be able to catch the condition early and intervene.
The government has levied taxes on carbonated and energy drinks, and cigarettes to discourage these habits.
Early screening: Taxes on energy drinks: Health plan in schools:
Catching obesity in the early stages is important and the health authorities have introduced health plans in schools, serving healthy and balanced foods in schools, apart from running fitness programmes.
“These and other initiatives will help us educate the community, create greater awareness about heart conditions and tackle the issue before it turns into a full-blown disease,” added Dr Baslaib.