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Two thirds of women are overweight, UAE mall study finds

More than half of those did not manage their levels, and 43 per cent did so with medication.

Source : The National / 29 Sep 2014

Almost two thirds of women take no exercise and are overweight, a new health-screening survey suggests.

Nearly a third of women screened were obese, more than a third had a family history of heart disease and half had family members who were diabetic.

The study of nearly 5,000 women consisted of a questionnaire and tests for the main indicators of heart disease, which include high blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure, and body mass index.

“In the UAE, unbalanced diets, smoking and decreased physical activity are all lifestyle factors that contribute to a population with one of the highest rates of obesity in the world,” said Dr Tomislav Mihaljevic, head of the heart and vascular institute at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Having a family history of risk factors that cause heart disease can also make people vulnerable to heart disease. The study found that smoking and diabetes were not big problem areas for women.

Only 9 per cent had diabetes and 70 per cent of those with high blood sugar were healthy and controlled the issue with medication. Cholesterol levels were high in 11 per cent of the women screened. More than half of those did not manage their levels, and 43 per cent did so with medication.

Coronary heart disease was the world’s single biggest killer in 2012, causing 7.4 million deaths, or 13.2 per cent of all deaths. Cardiovascular disease was responsible for 30 per cent of deaths in the UAE, and 39 per cent in Abu Dhabi.

The health screening was conducted by the retail conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the American Heart Association and local health organisations across the region.

It took place at shopping malls in Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah and Sharjah, and in Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon and Oman, and analysed health data from 4,742 women.

“The data collected can be used by the medical community in the Middle East to complement research efforts where data is scarce and costly to gather,” said Fuad Mansoor Sharaf, senior director of Majid Al Futtaim.


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