Heart disease top killer in GCC countries

By Kabeer Yousuf — MUSCAT: Feb. 8 – Heart disease is the prime reason for the high mortality rate in the GCC, said the experts attending the 13th Gulf Heart Association Conference on Wednesday. They said the number of people complaining of coronary diseases is increasing by the day. The conference, organised by Oman Heart Association in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH), was presided over by His Highness Sayyid Taimoor bin Asaad bin Tareq al Said and attended by Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saidi, Minister of Health. More shocking is the age of the cardiac patients. Most cardiac patients in the GCC are in the age group which is 10 years lower than in the western countries.
“According to the Gulf heart registries, patients reported with coronary diseases and heart failures are 10 years younger than those in the West,” said Dr Kadhim J Sulaiman, chairman of the conference.
Dr Hajar Ahmed Hajar al Binali, Adviser to Emir of Qatar, and Prof Sir Magdi Yacoub, international cardio surgeon, as well as a number of under-secretaries and high-ranking officials attended the meet.
922527The major risk factors, according to Prof Mohammed Zubaid, Chairman of Gulf Heart Association (GHA), are high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.
This is besides age, sex and hereditary factors, which are beyond human control.
“The Ministry of Health has launched a national campaign to raise awareness about the risk factors and how to combat heart diseases,” he added.
Dr Kadhim Ja’far Sulaiman, Vice-President of Oman Heart Association (OHA) and head of the conference organising committee, said studies have proved that cardio diseases are the main cause of death in the Gulf.
Prof Sir Magdi Yacoub, Cardiothoracic Surgery professor from the United Kingdom (UK), delivered the opening speech.
The four-day event saw a presentation on GCC Heart Association and its former conference besides another presentation on the National Heart Centre.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the patron of the conference opened an accompanying exhibition of pharma companies.
The expo showcases the latest medical equipment and medicines used in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac conditions.
The conference was attended by more than 600 participants from the Sultanate, GCC and other countries. More than 50 experts in the field of cardiovascular diseases from the Sultanate, GCC, United States and European countries participated.
The conference’s scientific sessions, through 50 working papers, will be addressing various themes.