International cardiac experts convene in Dubai for SHAKE Heart Conference 2024

    Initiative by Dr Brajesh Mittal raises awareness to curb acute heart attacks in UAE



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    March 22, 2023 Source - Gulf News

    Two-day heart disease conference addresses prevention and new advances in field of cardio

    Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD) is on the rise in UAE with latest reports indicating that nearly 40 per cent deaths in the UAE that occur due to non-communicable diseases, are due to heart attacks. The average age for heart attacks has dropped to 50 years or less with obesity and sedentary lifestyles exacerbating the situation.

    Eminent heart specialists mark their attendance

    All this and more was discussed at the two-day annual CME-accredited Shake Heart Conference 2023 that was held in collaboration with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the Health magazine on March 16-17 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dubai. Dr Azad Moopen, Founder and Chairman, Aser DM Health Care Group addressed the delegates remotely, welcoming them and emphasising the importance of heart health and medical research in this field.

    Shake is an acronym for Saving Heart Attacks-Key Efforts and in the two days, eminent cardiologists and physicians from across the UAE, including cardiac surgeons and abroad leading doctors were joined by leading doctors from the Emirates Cardiology Society to highlight the latest studies and showcase latest medical practices in cardiology in several lectures held at the venue.

    Saving deaths and damages from heart attacks

    Commenting on the importance of the event, Dr Brajesh Mittal, Chairman of Shake Heart, Deputy Medical Director and consultant Interventional Cardiologist as well as head of the cardiology department of Medcare Hospital, said, “The event headline is Saving Deaths and Damages from Heart Attacks. Myocardial Infarction is the medical term for heart attacks where the sudden block in one of the leading arteries to the heart, blocks blood supply and damages the heart muscle. It is said, time is muscle and maximum deaths and long-term damage in heart attacks occurs because patients have not been taken care of in the right time.”

    Dr Mittal further added that the need of the hour was creating awareness and consolidating research considering the high incidence of heart disease and lower average of incidence at the age of 40, of the disease in the UAE as compared to the global average which was 50 years.

    About Shake Heart

    The Shake Heart conference is an annual feature being held for the last eight years in Dubai. The chairman of the conference is Dr Brajesh Mittal, eminent interventional cardiologist and deputy director of Medcare Hospital, Dubai who conceived the conference with the intention of bringing all medical, academic and advanced technological knowledge in the field of cardiology on one platform to mobilise awareness and education on heart disease.

    Source: https://gulfnews.com/business/corporate-news/shake-heart-conference-2023-held-in-dubai-by-dha-and-health-magazine-1.1679387012172



    July 27, 2022 Source - Gulf News

    Dubai: The conclusion of the sixth edition of the Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres and SHAKEHEART Conference was attended by 300 participants from the medical field who come together to raise awareness and share knowledge of the critical need for early detection and treatment of heart attacks – Acute Myocardial Infarction. Bringing together international cardiac specialists, the SHAKEHEART Conference saw a call for greater awareness, preventive action, and community education to help stem the rise of heart disease and complications across the UAE population, with the threshold of heart attack incidence now falling between 30-40 years of age.

    With a clear disparity between ‘what can be done’ and ‘what is actually done’ – the SHAKEHEART 2022 conference was designed to bridge the gap by bringing together globally recognised consultants in the cardiac field to share insight, knowledge and best practice.

    The annual event was held at Sheraton Mall of the Emirates, Dubai in a virtual and hybrid format conducted by over 40 expert faculty members from seven different countries. Headed by Dr. Brajesh Mittal, Head of Cardiology and Consultant Interventional Cardiologist and Deputy Medical Director at Medcare Hospital Al Safa, and Chairman of SHAKE (Saving Heart Attacks Key Efforts), attendees including nurses, paramedics, and doctors learning from a range of educational sessions and panels that covered topics including:

    • Everyday challenges in hypertension management
    • Chest pain triage
    • The cardiac impact of COVID-19 infections
    • Coronary care for women

    Dr. Brajesh, in his mission to ‘save deaths and damages from heart attack’ launched the SHAKE Foundation in 2019 under the patronage of Dr. Azad Moopen, Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare Group. SHAKE aims to highlight ways of preventing heart attacks alongside early intervention through greater awareness of new medical techniques and preventative screenings.

    “Extensive research has shown that when patients receive the correct, most advanced treatments in a timely manner, those suffering from acute heart attacks can, in fact, be saved and go on to live a very comfortable life going forward” said Dr Brajesh Mittal.

    “I started my efforts in this direction in 2015 by holding annual conferences to not only educate medical practitioners across the country but to allow them to share their insight and experience with one another in order to make the community more knowledgeable. Together we are stronger. I am grateful to Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres for supporting this initiative and always seeing the bigger picture when it comes to innovative medical treatments and practice” Dr. Mittal continued.

    The SHAKE Foundation has previously conducted seminars for the general public to help them understand preventive measures as well as the importance of seeking advice early, in case of heart complications requiring potential medical intervention. Dr. Mittal also aims to educate people on how to take the correct action if one of them or a member of their family suffers from“STEMI- ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction”- known as the deadliest form of a heart attack.

    About Medcare:

    Medcare is the premium private healthcare provider under the parent group, Aster DM Healthcare. Medcare operates four leading state-of-the-art hospitals, including two multi-specialty hospitals (Medcare Hospital Al Safa in Dubai, and Medcare Hospital Sharjah), and two specialized hospitals – Medcare Women & Children Hospital, and Medcare Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital in Dubai. In addition, the Medcare network comprises of 15 medical centres in the UAE and Sharjah to serve the healthcare needs of the community. Treating more than 1.2 million patients every year in over 35 medical specialties, Medcare has established a strong presence in the UAE. Living by its simple promise “We’ll Treat You Well”, Medcare is fully committed to providing clinical excellence and personalized medical care to every patient.

    Source: https://menafn.com/1104103226/Medcare-and-SHAKEHEART-Conference-raises-awareness-of-heart-disease-and-prevention-in-the-UAE


    March 24, 2021 Source - Gulf News

    Dubai: Heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are on the rise in the UAE with the threshold of heart attack incidence now falling between 30-40 years of age in the country, point out health care experts.

    Calling for greater awareness, preventive action and education of the community to avert heart disease, international cardiac specialists were speaking at the fifth edition of the ‘Shake Heart’ Conference that was held virtually and broadcast from Dubai.

    Shake is an acronym for Save Heart Attacks Key Efforts and the annual conference takes a look at various ways of preventing heart attacks and early intervention with greater awareness of new medical techniques and preventive screening.

    What is CVD?

    CVD is an umbrella term used to describe a group of all heart-related diseases such as Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), atherosclerosis (thickening of the arterial walls due to build-up of fatty deposits), Arrhythmia (change in heart rhythm), leading to angina (chest pain), heart attacks and ischemic strokes, many of which can be fatal. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), CVD causes 40 per cent of the deaths annually around the world.

    Heart disease can be prevented

    Dr Brajesh Mittal, consultant, interventional cardiology at the Medcare Hospital, Dubai, and chairman, founder of the Shake Heart Foundation, told Gulf News: “There is considerable evidence that heart disease can be prevented with early intervention and diagnosis. Our mission is to prevent the first heart attack; treat it fast if it happens and do our best to prevent any further attack.”


    Heart disease and high blood pressure continue to be on the rise in UAE, according to the results of a 2019 wellness survey. While CVD has a higher rate of incidence among Asians in general, as a subset, Indians are highly susceptible.

    Approximately, seven out of ten Indian expatriates in Abu Dhabi, and six out of ten Indian expatriates in Dubai and the rest of the five emirates have died due to heart attacks in the first half of 2019, according to the report.

    Heart attack onset at a younger age

    The 2019 report has also found that the victims of heart attack are getting younger year by year. Out of the 131 cases reported in Abu Dhabi this year, 57 of them were between the age group of 20-40. Besides, higher and earlier incidence of heart diseases in Asian population; work-related and emotional stress, lifestyle changes and unhealthy food habits also contribute significantly in the expats in the UAE, said Dr Mittal.

    Bad lifestyle choices

    Dr Mittal said: “While the threshold for cardiac arrest and CVD, worldwide, is 65 years, in the UAE, it is 45 years. The UAE has all the risk factors for CVD. Around 20 per cent Emiratis have diabetes, 80 per cent are overweight and 30 per cent are obese. One in three Emiratis have hypertension, leading to strokes, CVD and kidney disease. 60 per cent of the people in UAE who have CVD are regular smokers. All these conditions are causes for the high rate of heart attacks and CVD among locals in the UAE.”

    How to prevent CVD?

    While genetic and lifestyle choices contribute to early onset of heart diseases, it is totally possible to prevent it with greater community education, awareness and early intervention where high-risk factors can be addressed and modified, pointed out Dr Mittal.

    This would include reduction of weight, healthy food choices, avoiding high sugar and high-fat diet, giving up smoking habit, regular exercise and regular health screening

    Need for international collaboration

    The conference was inaugurated by Dr Aman Puri, the Indian Consul General. Addressing the delegates, Dr Puri pointed out that the previous one year had proved the need for international medical collaboration in sharing health outcomes that could benefit people across the globe. He said there was need to be keep abreast of rapid medical advancement and use it for the benefit of the people cutting across territorial, cultural and national boundaries.

    Pioneering Indian heart specialist Dr Naresh Trehan, founder of the Medanta Mediciity, Delhi was the guest of honour. Addressing the delegate, Dr Trehan said the modern advancements in interventional cardiology and other diagnostics had made it possible to not only avoid serious heart complications in case of a Myocardial Infarction (MI), but also prevent any further deterioration.

    Causes of CVD and heart attacks:

    * Obesity: Having a higher Basal metabolic rate of 27 and above indicates impaired metabolism that strains the heart.

    * Hypertension, high lipedemia: High blood pressure and high levels of bad cholesterol. While high blood pressure weakens the arteries, cholesterol causes plaque build-up that can cause a heart attack as it obstructs flow of blood.

    * Consumption of high-fat and high sugar food: A diet that is not rich in fresh and green fruit and vegetables and has too much high fat, processed food with sugar and chemical additives can trigger obesity and heart disease

    * Smoking: Smoking cigarettes cause arteriosclerosis or plaque build, narrowing the blood floor in arteries and triggering clots, stroke, and heat attacks.

    * Genetics: It has been observed that individuals who have a family history of CVD tend to have a higher chance of its incidence.

    Tips to a heart healthy:

    • Include daily aerobic exercise of moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes (e.g. brisk walking, cycling, swimming, etc.).

    • Studies have proved that the South Asian expatriate population is genetically predisposed to coronary artery block. Therefore, they need to adopt healthy lifestyles and be regular in their heart check-ups.

    Source: https://gulfnews.com/uae/health/six-out-of-ten-indian-expatriates-in-dubai-died-of-heart-attack-in-2019-1.77993495



    January 27, 2020 Source - Gulf News

    Public must be made more aware of how to prevent heart disease, says Dr Brajesh Mittal

    Dubai: With heart disease continuing to the lead killer in the region, it is important to raise awareness on the issue and better prepare the public on the many aspects of cardiac health, said an expert.

    Speaking on the sidelines of SHAKE (Saving Heart Attacks Key Efforts) an awareness programme held for the public on the importance of saving lives from heart attacks, Dr Brajesh Mittal, Medical Director, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Medcare Hospital, Dubai, and Chairman of SHAKE, said, “We are seeing more patients in our clinics for health checks. More awareness, better screening and diagnostic tools are enabling people to reduce the impact of risk factors for heart attacks. But we are still very far from achieving our goal,” said Dr Mittal.

    The event was held at the Le Meridien on Saturday.

    Dr Azad Moopen, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare, who formally launched the event, said, “With the rising incidence of ischemic heart disease world over, we are constantly hearing about mortality and morbidity caused by this lifestyle epidemic, especially among young adults. It is high time that the medical community takes proactive measures to address this by increasing awareness among vulnerable population. I hope that [SHAKE] will shake up people and make them take note of the monster waiting to strike.”

    Heart disease and high blood pressure continue to be on the rise in UAE, according to the results of a 2019 wellness survey. “According to reports, 7 out of 10 Indian expatriates in Abu Dhabi, and 6 out of 10 Indian expatriates in Dubai and the rest of the five emirates have died due to heart attacks in the first half of 2019,” said Dr Mittal. ”Besides higher and earlier incidence of heart diseases in Asian population, work-related and emotional stress, lifestyle changes and unhealthy food habits also contribute significantly in the expats in the UAE,” said Dr Mittal.

    The UAE, Dr Mittal said, has all the risk factors for CVD. “Around 20 per cent of Emiratis have diabetes, 80 per cent are overweight and 30 per cent obese. One in three Emiratis have hypertension, that leads to strokes, CVD and kidney disease. 60 per cent of the people in UAE who have CVD are regular smokers. All these conditions are causes of the high rate of heart attacks and CVD among Emiratis in the UAE,” he said.

    There are many initiatives in place to bring down the rates of CVD, added Dr Mittal. “The GCC heart registry has all important data on CVD in the UAE which helps us get a clear picture of the challenge we face. We have begun screening people at a younger age 35 for CVD. The government has levied taxes on carbonated and energy drinks, and cigarettes to discourage these habits. Curbing obesity in the early stages is important and the health authorities have introduced health plans in schools, serving healthy and nutritiously balanced food in schools as well as running fitness programmes. These and many other initiatives will help us educate the community, create greater awareness about heart conditions and tackle this issue.”

    Source: https://gulfnews.com/uae/health/raising-awareness-on-heart-diseases-in-uae-a-priority-says-expert-1.69231686


    January 5, 2020 Source - Gulf News

    1) Should the next big frontier in treatment and management of heart disease be focusing on the intersection of emotional heart and the biological heart?

    Dr Brajesh Mittal: “It is true that emotional state affects the biological state of the body; including the heart. The adverse effects of acute as well chronic stress have been demonstrated in studies. However, the stress should be considered as a factor, a contributor. That is not to say ‘stress causes heart disease’. And like other cardiovascular factors, it is modifiable.”

    Dr Firas Raouf: “Absolutely, I totally agree.”

    2) Should emotional stress be listed as a key modifiable risk factor for heart disease?

    Dr Mittal: “Stress is a very subjective factor. Also, it is not quantifiable the way cholesterol is. I mean there are no defined numbers of volume of stress. So obviously it is more difficult to recognise, assess and modify stress as compared to modification of cholesterol.”

    Dr Firas Raouf: “[Yes]. I believe modifying emotional stress can impact significantly the rate of cardiac events. Today, in some parts of the world, there exist therapy systems targeted at minimising life stresses to minimize effects of stress on the body in general and cardiovascular health specifically. The challenge with emotional stresses is that no quantifiable markers have been yet defined that can be used to monitor the level of stress a human body is being actively exposed to.”

    3) Cardiologists are not counsellors. Comment.

    Dr Mittal: “I believe all the physicians are de facto counsellors. Whenever we treat a patient, we almost always end up giving some psychological counseling – it may be subtle, indirect or sometimes more direct. The role of medicine is to provide physical, mental and emotional well being; not just the drug prescription.”

    Dr Raouf: “I don’t think it will blur the line. Since the psychological aspect is considered an integral part in many aspects of healthcare delivery, I think this would rather strengthen the collaboration and inter-referral practice between both teams, psychologists and clinicians. Just like psychologists are not clinical scientists, clinicians are not as equipped as their psychologist colleagues to deliver the proper psychological care their patients might need.”

    4) Can one die from a broken heart?

    Dr Mittal: “People can die from stress-induced cardiomyopathy; though, in most cases it is reversible, and heart function returns to normal after several days.”

    Dr Raouf: “Patients who suffer “Broken Heart Syndrome”, can be perfectly healthy people prior to their exposure to a dramatic emotional stressful event, predating the onset of this condition and [it] can sometimes ultimately lead to their demise.”

    Should the landmark Framingham Heart Study in the US, included psychosocial determinants of heart disease? Would the history of heart disease management have then been different?

    Dr Raouf: “I believe it would have, as we are now realising the significant impact emotional stress can have on heart disease, brain disease, cancer and many other illnesses that can drastically impact overall people’s health and well-being. Hence, monitoring and controlling the magnitude of how much emotional stress a person can be exposed to in their lifetime would, I believe, have a measurable positive impact in lowering the incidence of these life-threatening medical conditions.”

    What’s the way forward?

    Dr Mittal: “Behavioural therapies/counseling should be an important aspect from therapeutic point of view. “Exercises, yoga, meditation and in extreme cases [of stress], reference to psychologist/psychiatrist should be considered. Diverse and effective stress interven-tion programs have been tested in heart patients, programs that provide formal psychotherapy, psychotropic medications, time management training, progressive relaxation training, meditation, or regular exercise. The therapeutic nihilists are wrong. The majority of these intervention programs improve patients’ morale and functioning and decrease suffering. These stress effects, like other settings of cardiac risk, are potentially modifiable, if not by cardiologists themselves, then by their colleagues who help patients change their behaviours and cognitions

    Dr Raouf: “I. Researchers, clinicians, and psychologist should work together in trying to define measurable markers defining emotional stress

    II. People should be more tuned into the negative effects of emotional stress on their overall well-being and try to implement lifestyle changes to minimise stress in their lives. Examples of such measures can be giving the body enough rest and sleep time, engaging in exercise on regular basis, enriching their lives with practices that focus on mind health such as Yoga and surrounding themselves with positive atmosphere and people and friends with positive energy …etc.

    III. Governmental and societal bodies continue to focus on the individual healthy mind by creating supporting groups for counselling and advise


    January 5, 2020 Source - Gulf News

    Dubai: Vape is big money. It’s also a big health issue. The negative health effect of e-cigarettes, this relatively new contraption, is yet unknown. Little, if at all, exists in the way of scientific research on its long-term health effects. Even the World Health Organisation (WHO) is prevaricating.

    For one, the world body states that compared to smoking, vaping reduces harm to the user, but the degree of harm reduction is “uncertain”.

    It’s this “fact” — or lack of it — that has sent millions of vape users swooning in delirium. Net effect: Vapers now fly in droves like a moth to the flame, to know what it feels like the first time.

    Then they get hooked. This is especially so for youngsters who would’ve never picked the habit otherwise.

    “Vape” is just short for vaporisation. A battery-powered contraption to deliver nicotine and other substances electronically to your lungs, bloodstream and brain.

    Here’s all you need to know about vaping and the industry that feeds this new era of global nicotine addiction.

    How do vapes work?
    They vaporise liquid. The liquid typically contains nicotine and gives it the desired consistency and irresistible smell.

    Does it reduce the harm posed by traditional smoking?
    A 2016 WHO report states that a switch from smoking tobacco to e-cigarettes “may” reduce harm to the user — by supporting quitting or acting as a “lower-risk substitute” to traditional cigarettes.

    To what degree is the harm from traditional smoking reduced by vaping?

    The answer to this is a bit funny. The assertion that it reduces harm does not stand on any scientific ground. Rather, it’s a perception. Vaping is still a relatively new industry and, as such, its negative long-term health effects are yet unknown.

    Is vaping addictive?
    Yes. Nicotine is the primary agent in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Nicotine is highly addictive. That’s why it’s called “nicotine (or tobacco) dependence” by some medical journals.

    It’s like drug dependence. You can’t stop using the substance, even though your grandma and everyone in the family tells you it’s causing you harm.

    How does nicotine work?
    Nicotine gives smokers a “kick” — physical and mood-altering effects in the brain that are temporarily pleasing.

    These effects leave you craving more and lead to dependence. It’s also scientifically proven that stopping tobacco use causes withdrawal symptoms — including irritability and anxiety.

    More surreptitiously, vaping damages the blood vessels.

    Studies indicate that even nicotine-free vaping damages blood vessels — one shows a 17.5 per cent drop in peak blood flow as a direct result of vaping.

    Very much so. For one, it raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack. It’s the nicotine in tobacco that causes nicotine dependence. But the toxic effects of tobacco result from other substances in tobacco. Regardless of how long you’ve smoked, stopping smoking can improve your health. Research show that nicotine may be as addictive as heroin and cocaine. What’s worse, many e-cigarette users get even more nicotine than they would from a tobacco product. How? One: Vapers can buy extra-strength cartridges, which have higher concentrations of nicotine. Two: They can simply increase the e-cigarette’s voltage to get a stronger dose.

    If the WHO states vaping is “less harmful” than smoking, what advice does it give to governments about it?

    To its credit, the global agency did urge governments to consider policies that would restrict vaping use.

    How big is the vape industry?
    Vape is big money. In 2014, there were 466 brands of e-cigarettes, with global sales of around $7 billion (Dh25 billion).

    In 2018, the global e-cigarette and vape market size was valued at $10.3 billion. It is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of of 24.9 per cent from 2019 to 2025.

    Vape vs smoking: What’s the difference in terms of damage to the human body?
    Numerous studies show smoking causes severe damage to nearly every organ of the body.

    Statistically, smokers have much higher rates of heart disease, stroke and cancer than non-smokers do.

    In the UAE, smoking accounts for up to 90 per cent of lung cancer triggers.

    And nearly one-third of deaths from heart disease are the result of smoking and second-hand smoke.

    Smoking also burns a hole in your pocket as cigarettes are now taxed heavily.

    The federal government has banned the sale and possession of cigarettes without Digital Tax Stamps from August 1, 2019.

    Is vaping “less harmful” indeed? What harm, if any, does it cause?
    Dr Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, has claimed that compared to traditional smoking, vaping is “less harmful”.

    Other sources claim that vapes expose people to “fewer toxic chemicals than traditional cigarettes.”

    The basis for this claim: In vapes, the nicotine extracted from tobacco, along with flavorings and few other chemicals, create the water vapor that users inhale.

    On the other hand, regular tobacco cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic.

    That doesn’t make vaping safe, say experts. “You’re exposing yourself to all kinds of chemicals that we don’t yet understand and that are probably not safe,” said Dr Blaha.

    Does vaping add to nicotine addiction?
    Yes. Vaping is fueled by same nicotine traditional cigarette smokers use to get a nicotine fix, and triggers happy hormones in the brain.

    Only the delivery is different. Instead of burning tobacco, as cigarette smokers do, vaping uses a battery-powered electronic device to vaporise nicotine, so that the “vaper” can inhale nicotine.

    What do UAE doctors say about vaping effects on the body?
    Doctors and hospitals across the world report an increasing number of vaping-related respiratory illnesses.

    Dr Brajesh Mittal, Consultant Cardiologist at Medcare Hospital in Dubai, says vaping isn’t really safer than traditional cigarette smoking.

    “It is deceptively safer. Though it contains overall less harmful contents than the regular cigarettes — the availability of vapes is increasing its use — and subsequent more addiction,” said Dr Mittal.

    Dr Mittal also points to this seemingly innocuous “trend”: “Because of perceived safety, even children and teenagers are using them and is clearly making them more habitual. Instead of reducing the use of standard smoking — these are becoming the gateway to future smoking.”

    Because of perceived safety, even children and teenagers are using them and is clearly making them more habitual. Instead of reducing the use of standard smoking — these are becoming the gateway to future smoking.
    – Dr. Brajesh Mittal, Consultant Cardiologist at Medcare Hospital in Dubai
    And how serious is the ‘less harmful’ myth faced by vape users?
    Dr Mittal explains: “There is a myth that e-cigarettes do not have nicotine when, actually, they have, though the quantity is less and it’s not directly combusted — like in normal cigarettes. By substituting in general on a mass basis — we may reduce the nicotine consumption per person, but we also carry the threat to end up increasing the total number of users.”

    Is an entire new generation getting hooked on nicotine?
    Yes. Compared to any traditional tobacco product, e-cigarettes are more popular among youngsters. In 2015, the US surgeon general reported that e-cigarette use among high school students had increased by 900 per cent. Out of young e-cigarette users, up to 40 per cent had never smoked regular tobacco.

    In other words, e-cigarettes had been the entry point to nicotine addiction for this new crowd.

    What should authorities do about it?
    One: Limit the access of youngsters to vape. The fact that it appeals to young people and that vape cartridges — often formulated with flavorings such as apple and raspberry — also happen to smell good do not make them less harmful.

    Two: Greater scrutiny of the chemicals being made available at vape shops, especially those selling them online.

    Three: More research needs to be done to cut fact from fiction on vaping, particularly nicotine addiction. The fact that e-cigarettes have a lower per-use cost than traditional cigarettes make them a runaway success among a new generation of nicotine adherents.

    Clinical researcher Dr Michael Blaha, of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, says: “What I find most concerning about the rise of vaping is that people who would’ve never smoked otherwise, especially youth, are taking up the habit. It’s one thing if you convert from cigarette smoking to vaping. It’s quite another thing to start up nicotine use with vaping. And, it often leads to using traditional tobacco products down the road.”

    Besides nicotine, what other substances are found in vaping?
    There’s propylene glycol, glycerine and other “flavourings”. Little research has been made on the negative health effects of inhaling these substances individually — or in combination.

    Because of the presence of C3H8O2 (Propylene glycol, a “brother” of alcohol) in vaping liquids, vapers not only get a kick from nicotine…now you get the picture.

    Various sources state that propylene glycol, an organic compound, is generally safe for use in foods, citing decisions by US and European food authorities.

    Recently, however, C3H8O2 has kicked up controversy: propylene glycol is used as an antifreeze agent, leading to health concerns about its possible toxic effects from eating foods that contain it.

    In the US, where nearly 200 people where rushed to the emergency room in recent weeks, many patients also acknowledged vaping tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

    This is the high-inducing chemical found in cannabis, according to statements from US federal and state health agencies.

    What is ‘vaper’s tongue’?
    A condition where — unexpectedly and without warning — a vaper loses the ability to taste vape “juice”. This is a nearly universal phenomenon: Vaping can sometimes cause a fatigued tongue, leading to dry mouth which will be devoid of adequate saliva. Without enough saliva, the ability to taste is almost non-existent.

    The phrase became common because many vapers noticed on occasion that their tongue felt like it suddenly developed a thick coating that blocked the ability to taste.

    For a vaper, the ability to taste the full flavor of the “juice” in the vape is the key to get fullness of joy from the vaping experience. Many vaping sites explain what causes of vaper’s tongue and ways to get past it. They’re not the aim of this explainer.

    What are the long-term health risks of vaping?
    The MD Anderson Cancel Center, of the University of Texas, lists the following risks:

    Nicotine addiction
    Mouth and throat irritation
    Coughing and wheezing
    Worsening asthma
    Chest pain
    Raised blood pressure
    Raised heart rate
    Upset stomach

    Should indoor smoke-free areas also be vape-free?
    Yes. That’s what WHO recommends.

    In a bulletin issued in 2016, WHO stated: “We believe that, from a public health perspective, central and local governments should adopt regulations that effectively determine that all designated indoor smoke-free areas are also vape-free areas.”

    Does vaping kill?
    Yes and no. At least not an immediate kind of death — though an exploding vape pen reportedly killed a user in May 2018 in Florida, USA.

    In another case, on Friday, August 23, the US Centres for Disease Control flagged one more death. The victim, in the US state of Illinois, was reportedly hospitalized with severe respiratory illness before he died.

    A total of 193 cases have been reported with severe respiratory illness in 22 US states. Doctors were surprised by the spike in cases. Investigators have not found a common link – except vaping – among the patients turning up in emergency rooms.

    What countries ban vaping in enclosed areas?
    There are a growing number of countries where owning an e-cigarette can land you in serious trouble.

    Thailand, Brazil, Singapore, the Seychelles, and Uruguay have banned e-cigarettes. The list is growing. In 2014, they were technically illegal to sell in Canada, but this is generally unenforced and they are commonly available for sale Canada-wide. In the US, vaping is banned in all public enclosed facilities.

    Since the WHO published a study which claimed that e-cigarettes may not help smokers kick the habit, several countries have clamped down on their use.

    In certain countries, like Australia, every form of nicotine, except for replacement therapies and cigarettes, is considered a form of poison.

    What did the US authorities do about e-cigarettes?
    In September 2018, the FDA has further strengthened its Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan by targeting the e-cigarette industry with fines for retailers and manufactures that are illegally selling to youth.

    In November 2018, the FDA announced new steps to curb youth vaping while still ensuring the adults who would “benefit” from e-cigarettes still had access to a healthier nicotine delivery system.

    What does WHO say about vaping?
    WHO published a study which claimed that e-cigarettes may not actually help smokers kick the habit. After that, several countries have clamped down on their use.

    Nicotine is a stimulant that contains nitrogen and is a potent para-sympatho-mimetic alkaloid that is naturally produced in the nightshade family of plants. Nicotine is also produced synthetically.

    Nicotine raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack. It’s the nicotine in tobacco that causes nicotine dependence.

    But the toxic effects of tobacco result from other substances found in tobacco.

    Research shows that nicotine may be as addictive as heroin and cocaine. What’s worse, many e-cigarette users get even more nicotine than they would from a tobacco product. How?

    One: Vapers can buy extra-strength cartridges, which have higher concentrations of nicotine.

    Two: They can simply increase the e-cigarette’s voltage to get a stronger dose.
    If I want to quit smoking regular cigarettes, is vaping my best option?
    No. E-cigarettes aren’t the best smoking cessation tool. Although they’ve been marketed as an “aid” to help you quit smoking, e-cigarettes have not received US FDA’s approval as smoking-cessation devices.

    On study shows that among those who smoke, 7 out of 10 say they do want to stop — but can’t.

    That’s how addictive nicotine is. Many of those who want to quit smoking turn to electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as a way to ease the transition from traditional cigarettes to not smoking at all.

    However, a recent study found that most people who intended to use e-cigarettes to kick the nicotine habit ended up continuing to smoke — both traditional and e-cigarettes.

    I want to quit smoking and vaping altogether. What should I do?
    There are many treatments that work to treat nicotine dependence. In general, they help you manage withdrawal and stop smoking for good.

    Ask your doctor for help.


    January 5, 2020 Source - Gulf News

    Dubai: The shocking death of Manjunath Naidu, one of Dubai’s popular stand-up comedians, during a live show last Friday, has raised several health concerns, especially among young professionals from the Indian subcontinent.

    Health studies conducted globally have indicated that people from the Indian subcontinent (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) have a genetic predisposition for Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) at a much younger age than others.

    Indians die 10 years earlier of heart disease than other populations in the world, according to these studies.

    One report published in the Vascular Health journal by Indian researchers Meenakshi Kumar and Nirmal Kumar Ganguly says that young Indians in the age group of 35-45 years are predisposed to premature CAD and die of heart disease 10-15 years earlier compared to other populations in the rest of the world.

    An Interheart study conducted by Canadian doctor Salim Yousef, published in the Lancet in 2004, points out that more than 80 per cent of the burden of Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD) is taken on by people from low income groups.

    It is a well- known fact that Indians worldwide have a genetic propensity to heart disease. Sometimes, there are no symptoms at all and yet, an individual gets a sudden heart attack.
    – Dr Brajesh Mittal, interventional cardiologist at Medcare Hospital

    Countries from the Indian subcontinent feature prominently in this list.

    Commenting on this trend of premature CAD, Dr Brajesh Mittal, interventional cardiologist at Medcare Hospital, told Gulf News: “It is a well- known fact that Indians worldwide have a genetic propensity to heart disease. Sometimes, there are no symptoms at all and yet, an individual gets a sudden heart attack.”


    November 16, 2018 Source - Gulf News

    Symposium in Dubai stresses preventive value of emergency response

    A full-day symposium to raise awareness on the importance of timely intervention in the case of a heart attack was held in Dubai on Friday. The event was held under the auspices of SCALE (STEMI Care for All in the Emirates) in association with Emirates Cardiac Society and accredited by the Ministry of Health and Prevention.

    Acute heart attack, known in medical terminology as Acute ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI), occurs in all adult age groups and is a major killer. However, a majority of the lives can be saved by timely and appropriate actions, said Dr Brajesh Mittal, chairman of SCALE and consultant cardiologist and head of cardiology department, Al Garhoud Private Hospital, Dubai.

    Held for health care professionals, the STEMI symposium, now in its fourth edition, focused on the preventive value of emergency responses in heart attacks. “The last three symposia delivered an important message to all the attendees on two major aspects: early recognition of heart attack and prompt medical intervention.”

    Currently, said Dr Mittal, “there is a significant gap in ‘what can be done’ and ‘what is actually done’. This gap has to be narrowed by creating an awareness of the high importance of early recognition and early treatment of this major killer.”

    According to the World Health Organisation, 17.9 millions deaths occur in a year due to cardiovascular diseases which are the number one killer.

    “In the case of heart attacks, there are some serious issues that need to be addressed,” he said. “For example, we always advise people to not drive to the hospital themselves in case of emergency. They must call for the ambulance services which are equipped to take the necessary medical steps. From the onset of a heart attack to the interaction with first medical contact (FMC), there must be as little delay as possible otherwise it can affect the outcomes significantly. Heart attacks carry an imminent threat to life and the use of ambulance can save a life during transfer from home to hospital.”

    The importance of holding the annual Scaleheart symposium, said Dr Mittal, is based on the fact that health care personnel are the educators for public. “So we need to be educated for this purpose. The education of educators is the mission of Scaleheart.”


    November 17, 2017 Source - Gulf News

    SCALE Heart symposium highlights the invaluable role of emergency response for heart attack patients

    Dubai: To raise awareness on the critical need for timely intervention in cases of heart attacks, a large-scale, full-day symposium was held in Dubai on Friday.

    Held for health care professionals, the STEMI symposium, now in its third edition, focused on the preventive value of emergency responses in heart attacks. STEMI or ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, is a very serious type of heart attack and is identified as one of the biggest killers.

    The symposium, under the auspices of SCALE (STEMI Care for All in the Emirates), was held in association with Emirates Cardiac Society and is accredited by the Ministry of Health and Prevention.

    A large number of field experts from the UAE, and outside, participated in SCALE Heart to share information and knowledge.

    Dr Brajesh Mittal, chairman of SCALE and consultant cardiologist and head of cardiology department, Al Garhoud Private Hospital, Dubai, said: “SCALE was launched two years back with the sole mission of educating health care professionals and the society at large on the need for timely intervention for heart attack patients. Currently there is a big gap in ‘what can be done’ and ‘what is actually done’. This gap has to be narrowed down. Education has power. Educating for early recognition and early treatment of this major killer can make a major difference.”

    According to World Health Organisation, heart attack deaths are likely to rise to 23.6 million by 2030.

    Dr Mittal quoted data from Dubai Health Authority and Health Authority — Abu Dhabi, which suggest that at least one in three patients die of heart-related diseases; heart attacks being the number one cause.

    SCALE Heart was held under the patronage of Sami Al Qamzi, Director-General of Dubai’s Department of Economic Development.


    November 16, 2016 Source - Gulf News

    Patients in the UAE suffer unnecessary heart damage, and in some cases even die, because they fail to recognise the signs of a heart attack. This is something SCALE - STEMI Care for All in Emirates – an alliance of heart specialists, which aims to improve the treatment of heart attack patients, took up for discussion recently to improve STEMI care.