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CVD: Get the facts

Cardiovascular disease in the UAE

Cardiovascular Disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide, resulting in more than 17.9 million mortalities in 2015. More than 3 million of such deaths occurred in people under the age of 60, which could have been largely prevented.

Nearly 4 in 10 deaths in the UAE were caused by Cardiovascular Disease

According the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease was the cause of 38% of deaths in the UAE.

Cardiovascular disease hits at a younger age in the region

People in the Gulf are 10 years younger when they suffer their first cardiac episode.

The burden is high, but the local authorities are taking action

The UAE government has set a number of challenging targets through its Vision 2021 strategy. Of particular relevance is the aim to cut down the number of cardiovascular disease related deaths by almost half.

What is cardiovascular disease?

Cardiovascular disease is not one condition. Rather it is a name used to describe a group of disorders of the heart (cardio) and blood vessels (vascular).

What is heart disease?

Coronary heart disease - commonly known as heart disease – is a condition in which cholesterol, calcium, lipids and cellular debris accumulate in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This material hardens forming a plaque that blocks blood flow to the heart. The heart muscle is starved for oxygen and a person experiences a chest pain known as angina.

What is a heart attack?

During a heart attack, a clot in one of the arteries of the heart blocks the flow of blood to the heart. Heart muscle begins to die. This is technically called a myocardial infarction, meaning death of the heart muscle. The more time that passes without treatment, the greater the damage. The part of the heart that dies during a heart attack cannot grow back or be repaired.

CVD: Get the facts

Warning signs of a heart attack

Many heart attacks start as a mild discomfort in the center of the chest. Someone who feels such a warning may not be sure what is wrong. Even people who have had a heart attack may not recognize the signs, because the next one can have entirely different symptoms.

Shortness of breath

This symptom often accompanies chest discomfort. However, it can also occur before the chest discomfort.

Other signs

These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.

Chest discomfort

Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, or fullness.

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body

Symptoms can include discomfort in one or both arms or in the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.

Warning signs of a stroke

When the brain does not get enough blood flow, many different signs and symptoms can occur. The amount and type of symptoms depend on what part of the brain is affected.


Trouble in speaking (speech is slurred; cannot repeat a simple phrase).

Weakness & numbness

Weakness, numbness or unusual sensations on one side of the body.


Asymmetry in the face or a droops or is dump. when asked to smile ,the person's smile looks uneven. 


The person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them up because of weakness or numbness in one arm.