Heart diseases are the primary cause of death in Kuwait, representing more than 40 percent of the total deaths annually, Health Minister Dr Ali Al-Obaidi said on Thursday. The minister made his remarks in a speech at the opening ceremony of the Fourth Conference of Kuwait Cardiologists Association and the 12th Gulf Heart Association Conference, under the auspices of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
The minister added that the ministry is proud of the great efforts exerted and achievements it made in cardiology healthcare which are illustrated by figures and statistics published by the ministry. Obaidi said Sabah Al-Ahmad Heart Center is a great testament to the keenness by HH the Amir to provide support and care for heart patients, including providing the latest services and new technologies in the areas of diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions in Kuwait.
The minister explained that the center operates around-the-clock, seven days a week, and the center's staff performs their duties to the fullest, including critical heart cardiac operations, diagnostics and therapeutic operations.
Obaidi added that during 2014, approximately 4,200 catheter diagnostic and therapeutic operations took place, including 335 immediate heart catheterization operations at the center as well as surgical procedures and other procedures for heart patients.
He added that the number of cardiac catheterization conditions in the Chest Diseases Hospital reached last year 7,693 cases, and that 972 heart surgeries took place there. Meanwhile, the number of catheter diagnoses in Al-Daboos Center reached 2,000 cases, with more than 1,200 inner catheter operations taking place, including 200 open-heart surgeries.
The minister expressed the ministry's willingness, devotion, and care for heart patients through the three specialized heart facilities which are staffed by a group of exceptional doctors and nursing staff, technicians and administrators.
Meanwhile, the head of Kuwait Heart Doctors Association and president of the organizing committee for the conference Mohammad Zbaid said that risk factors for causing heart diseases are high in Kuwait compared with other countries around the world, including the rate of being diagnosed with heart disease, which is six years ahead of patients in America and Europe.
Zbaid added that the rate of heart diseases among women in Kuwait do not exceed 15 percent, but noted an increase in the causes of heart disease in Kuwait, where a recent local study has shown that overweight and obesity has increased to 60 percent.
Furthermore, Zbaid said "if we compare the 100 heart patients in Kuwait with the same number from Europe, for example, we find that 40 percent of Kuwaiti patients are smokers, while the proportion of smokers in Europe amounts to only 20 percent, which means higher causes of heart disease in Kuwait from other countries."
On the conference, he noted that it hosted more than 200 doctors from the Arabian Gulf, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iran, in addition to 42 speakers from Europe, America, Canada, and the Middle East.