Poor diet, lack of exercise and dangerous roads have been earmarked as the biggest killers of men and women in the UAE.
Healthcare figures released by the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) show heart disease was the cause of a quarter of all deaths in the emirates last year, followed by injuries (22 per cent) and cancer (14 per cent), the National reported.
Head of the Emirates Cardiac Society Dr Wael al Mahmeed said it was unsurprising that heart disease is the biggest killer.
"The message needs to be everywhere; in schools, in mosques, in media. It is not just the responsibility of doctors," he told the paper.
The expatriate population is also risking its health, with a third of expat women aged 30-39 being classed as obese and a third of expatriates in the 20-29 age group smoke.
The World Health Organisation puts the UAE at number 11 in the world’s fattest population index.
HAAD is putting together proposals to tackle these health risks, but notes that it will be difficult.
People thinking of moving to the UAE could consider taking out expat healthcare to help cut costs for medical treatment.
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