1 in 3 adults in UAE are affected by hypertension; CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners are particularly vulnerable, says UAE cardiologists
13/12/2014 10:07 am EDT


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A senior UAE cardiologist has warned that one in three adults (above 18) in the UAE is affected by hypertension. He added that entrepreneurs, business owners, CEOs, senior managers are more prone to have hypertension due to high stress levels.

These statistics were revealed at a healthcare media roundtable hosted by Takeda, the global research driven Japanese healthcare company today (Wednesday, 10thDecember 2014) at JW Marriot Marquis Hotelin Dubai.

One of the key speakers, DrAbdullah Shehab, Chairman of the Arab board cardiology fellowship training and examination Committee in Arab countries, Associate Professor of Medicine at the UAE University and Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Al Ain and Al Noor Hospitals, highlighted a recent study that reveals that UAE nationals get strokes ten years later than UAE expatriates usually have it.

Dr Mohamed Salem, Consultant Interventional Cardiology & Endovascular Medicine in American Hospital – Dubai added: “Hypertension can go undetected for years as there are no obvious symptoms. The majority of cases in the UAE are due to lifestyle and not genetics.”

Dr Shehab revealed that while awareness of hypertension was not too bad, its management was not up to the mark, as people suffering from hypertension were not keen to make lifestyle changes.

Dr Salem added: “Obesity, lack of exercise, aging, mental stress are all causes of hypertension. The majority of the causes are stress related, however, we can’t ignore the other factors.”

Dr Shehab added: “Hypertension is the leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke and a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. It is a chronic medical condition which is usually defined as having a blood pressure of 140 mmHg or greater systolic and/or 90 mmHg or greater diastolic. (1) It was initially measured as having a blood pressure of 160 mmHg systolic but lowered to 140 mmHg systolic about a decade ago.”

Dr Shehab added: “Elevated systolic or diastolic pressure causes increased cardiovascular risk. Hypertension typically has no symptoms. (2) Adults of all ages and backgrounds can develop hypertension; however, the risk of developing the condition increases with age.”

Hypertension impacts an estimated one billion people worldwide, and this number is expected to increase to 1.56 billion by 2025.(3)

“People with hypertension should see their doctor every six months even if they think that there is no urgency as by doing so they are protecting themselves. This is more critical if they suffer from obesity, stress or family history of the disease,” said Dr Shehab.

The healthcare media event hosted by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited unveilednew drugs under the chemical name (azilsartanmedoxomil) and (azilsartanmedoxomil/chlorthalidone),a new once-daily angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) for the treatment of essential hypertension (high blood pressure), that have been recently approved by the UAE Ministry of Health (MoH). Dr. Shehab said that it is a new once-daily angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) for the treatment of essential hypertension (high blood pressure).

“The availability the new drugs in the UAE is an important milestone in Takeda’s more than 30 years commitment to providing important new therapeutic options for the treatment of hypertension, and reinforces the company’s long-standing clinical experience and dedication to cardiovascular health,” said Ahdy El Sayes, Managing Director of Takeda Middle East, Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

“Healthcare professionals are reporting an increasing number of patients who are living with hypertension, yet struggle to achieve a sustained reduction in blood pressure with currently available treatments. It is critical to control hypertension because lowering blood pressure has been shown to reduce the risk of serious health consequences, including stroke and heart attack,” said DrShehab. “The launch of the drugs in the UAE provides an important new treatment option, helping appropriate patients achieve their blood pressure goals.”

Azilsartanmedoxomil/chlorthalidone is a fixed-dose therapy for the treatment of hypertension for patients who may require a combination of drugs to help achieve blood pressure drugs. This therapy combines the ARB azilsartanmedoxomil with the diuretic chlorthalidone in a once-daily, single tablet. In clinical studies, Azilsartanmedoxomil/chlorthalidone adverse reactions were generally mild. The most common side effects were dizziness and fatigue.

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