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Drive to raise awareness on causes of hypertension

Dubai: The Emirates Cardiac Society (ECS) has launched a programme to raise awareness on the factors contributing to high blood pressure and encourage members of the public to undergo screenings to diagnose hypertension early on.

The launch coincides with World Hypertension Day today. It is the first interactive module-based approach to target cardiovascular disease management in the UAE titled ‘Love Your Heart Healthy'.

It will target 3,000 patients through 300 primary health care physicians and has three key pillars: patient-physician interface; continuous education to improve patient outcomes; and targeted screening and certified training. These will be implemented over the course of the year.

Major concern

Cardiovascular disease is a major concern countrywide. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 41 per cent of the UAE population aged 30 years and older have high blood pressure significantly higher than the global average of 25 to 30 per cent. This is expected to double to 50 to 60 per cent by 2025.

UAE-based experts have found that more than 80 per cent of patients with hypertension do not achieve the target blood pressure (140/90), despite taking prescribed medication. The findings indicate that patients require more regular review and medication adjustment.

Along with industry partner Novartis, the ECS aims to reduce the staggeringly low rate of blood pressure control across the country.

"This is a unique programme, developed to enhance the patient/physician risk-based interface, and help uncontrolled and high-risk patients to visualise the risk, understand risk factors, and call for action on lifestyle modification and adherence levels," said Dr Fahd Omar Baslaib, president of the ECS, in a statement.

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