Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has launched a heart health campaign aimed at reducing the impact of heart-related illnesses in Qatar.

The campaign will educate the public on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and will also provide advice on what to do if a heart attack is suspected. It will also educate the public on how to improve their heart heath by providing information about heart conditions and the importance of maintaining a healthy heart. Heart attacks are one of the biggest causes of death in Qatar each year, with over 20,000 patient admissions to the Heart Hospital in 2015 for this and other heart related conditions.

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Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, the Minister of Public Health said:

Cardiovascular disease adversely affects the lives of many people in our society. As well as being one of the leading causes of death, there are also significant numbers of people living with the complications caused by chronic heart conditions. Qatar’s public health sector has made great progress in recent years to improve care for people with heart conditions – but our aim is to do even more. We want to educate people about important health issues so that they are able to take control of their own health. Through initiatives such as this heart health campaign, we are increasing our focus on health promotion and prevention in a bid to reduce the incidence of chronic diseases in the country.’

Mohammad Al-Naama, Executive Director and Deputy CEO of Heart Hospital also commented on the launch of the new Heart Health campaign.

A healthy heart is a critical factor in living a healthy life. HMC’s Heart Health campaign aims to reduce the incidence of heart-related illnesses in Qatar by encouraging people to live a healthier lifestyle and recognize the conditions that can make them more susceptible to heart problems. The campaign also aims to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack as taking prompt and appropriate action can help to save lives.’

The importance of being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack was again emphasized by Dr Nidal Asaad, Chairman of Cardiology at Heart Hospital.

Symptoms such as acute chest pain with a sensation of pressure, tightness or squeezing in the chest, pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw and sometimes upper back, nausea, breathlessness and dizziness could all be symptoms of a heart attack. If you suspect a heart attack, you should call 999 for an ambulance immediately and the first aid advice given over the phone should be followed until the ambulance arrives. Once the patient is on board, ambulance staff will monitor their heart rhythm all the way to the Heart Hospital, transmitting this to the awaiting physicians so they have an up-to-date picture of the patient’s condition upon arrival and can be treated immediately.’

The campaign also aims to provide the public with advice on minimizing their risk of experiencing heart-related problems. This advice includes tips such as eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise. It is a good idea for people to be able to recognize if they fall into the high risk category for heart problems by having regular health checks. Diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity and inactivity are all risk factors. Adults with diabetes are between two to four times more likely to have heart problems than those who don’t.

For more information about heart health visit the official website.