Emiratis are being urged to take part in a study into the health of the nation by researchers, as the country’s life expectancy begins to show a worrying trend of decreasing.
Initially launched in 2014, the UAE Health Future Study aims to gain the responses of 20,000 Emiratis between the ages of 18 and 40, in order to conduct research into the links between genetic and environmental factors and the health of the nation.
With the health of the Emirates seemingly in decline, and heart disease rates rising at an unprecedented rate, Dr Raghib Ali, the study’s principal investigator, is hopeful that it will provide the answers to some of the biggest health problems facing the country.
Speaking at a press conference arranged to increase awareness of the study he said: “In the UK and the US, the prevalence of heart disease has now begun to fall, so we need to know why we are not seeing a similar pattern in the UAE.
“So far, we know the prevalence of chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular health, but we do not yet know how various risk factors impact the health of Emiratis, and it is only through a large-scale long-term cohort study that we can gain a better understanding of these factors.
“The entire process takes about 45 minutes, and more than half of all the people we approach have been very keen to help out once they understand that the study’s findings will benefit the future health of the community”.
Anyone who is interested in helping, and is an Emirati national, can sign up at one of five registration facilities. In Abu Dhabi these are at the Cleveland Clinic, Zayed Military Hospital and the Abu Dhabi Blood Bank, whilst two registration points are also open in Al-Ain - at the Emirates’ Blood Bank, and the UAE University