In Dubai, Emiratis can now sign up for a long-term study aimed at identifying the causes of non-communicable diseases.
Starting in October, the UAE Healthy Future Study, organized by New York University Abu Dhabi, will start enrolling Emiratis in Dubai between the ages of 18 and 40. Researchers are hoping to attract 5,000 Dubai Emiratis and 5,000 Northern Emirates respondents before 2021.
“We already have 7,000 Abu Dhabi emirate attendees and we hope that by March 2021 we will boost this amount to 10,000. We should be able to record enough fresh instances of diabetes and cardiovascular disease with a total of 20,000 topics to study what[ contributes to the disease in this population], “Dr Raghib Ali, head of public health studies at New York University Abu Dhabi, told Gulf News.
He spoke on the sidelines of a press conference where the NYUAD signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Upjohn, a pharmaceutical giant division of Pfizer. The firm will assist train university scientists to carry out the long-term study under the contract.
The project, initiated in 2017, has already disclosed greater than anticipated hypercholesteremia levels among Abu Dhabi respondents, while diabetes and hypertension incidence has been as high as anticipated. Pilot research of 2015 also found that 25% of all participants smoke, including 9% of females and 42% of males.
Non-communicable illnesses are considered to account for 77% of all deaths in the UAE. After road traffic accidents, cardiovascular disease is also the top killer.
“We understand about 20% of the adult population is affected by diabetes. But the UAE’s largest health database, Weqaya’s Abu Dhabi Health Department, shows that the incidence of diabetes among Emiratis may be as large as 50%, “Dr Ali said.
These statistics could result in a true public health emergency in 10 to 15 years, the investigator said, without the correct intervention.