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Prevalence and risk factors of cardiovascular disease in the United Arab Emirates
Non-communicable diseases are a cause of great concern in developing countries, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD is most commonly attributable to risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure (BP), lack of physical activity and smoking. This study aims to summarize previous research on the prevalence and risk factors of CVD in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Search engines and databases such as PubMed, Scopus and Science Direct, as well as several local journals, were utilized to identify relevant literature. Inclusion was limited to studies published between 2007 and 2016 in the English language and conducted with UAE participants (citizens and/or expatriates). Twenty-one relevant studies were found, including cross-sectional studies (n=11), population-based studies (n=3), literature reviews (n=2) and a case–control study (n=1). Estimates of the prevalence of CVD are considerably high, though there is insufficient information available on prevalence in the UAE as a whole. Primary determinants of CVD include obesity, smoking and diabetes mellitus. The prevalence of risk factors associated with CVD has increased in the UAE and will continue to increase, as made clear by the reviewed studies and as predicted by projections and future estimates. Some risk factors can be controlled, treated and prevented. Further attention must be given to developing preventative and curative strategies in order to reduce BP, increase physical activity, improve dietary habits and reduce smoking.