What Are the Common Health Risks in the UAE?

By PolicyBazaar
  | Published: 01 January 2021 | Last Updated On: 20 January 2021

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Each country in the world is ravaged by its own set of challenges and so does the United Arab Emirates. But the past trends in the country show the drastic transition that has occurred in UAE, making it a favourite destination for the expats and travellers around the world. Attracting people from around the globe, UAE has turned into a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities.  

The thriving economy of the country has not only imparted a sense of abundance amongst the UAE nationals but also massively increased their standard of living. But this development and growth have come at a cost. The fast-paced modern lifestyle of the people of UAE has led to an increase in a plethora of sedentary lifestyle-related diseases affecting the health of UAE’s residents. Plaguing the people of the country with modern lifestyle diseases like depression, obesity, diabetes, etc there is a surge in the number of patients in the country. 

The world has witnessed UAE gearing up for the fight against health issues prevalent in the country with an extensive healthcare system as well as the best health insurance in UAE. The country is standing strong in its fight to reach the heights of development while at the same time ensuring that its citizens are well taken care of. 

Here’s a list of the health risks that are a threat to UAE’s attempts to take its oil-centric economy to the top: 

Diabetes:

The people in the UAE have deep-rooted traditions and that is reflected in the dietary habits as well. Combined with excessive eating and lack of exercise, is the increased sedentary lifestyle practices. This has led to a spread of diabetes in the country almost like an epidemic with every third person in the country dealing with it. Statistics indicate that over 80,000 people in the country struggle with diabetes and this number is only going to rise with each passing year. As a result, getting the best health insurance in the UAE is extremely vital to cover regular check-ups and consultations that become routine once you are diagnosed with diabetes. 

Obesity:

With a sedentary lifestyle, obesity comes knocking on the door sooner or later. Hence it will not be surprising to know that obesity is a major health concern in the UAE. The rapid lifestyle due to the advent of modernity has changed people’s eating habits for the worse. Added to that the lack of movement and exercise has increased the number of obese people in the country. This battle with the increased waist size is extremely tough as it leads to a host of other health issues. Getting a medical insurance in UAE has thus become an indispensable necessity. 

About 70 percent of the UAE’s population is overweight due to a lack of awareness about following a healthy lifestyle. The government has started investing in sporting facilities to try to encourage a healthy lifestyle among people but it will take a long time before a significant change is visible. 

Heart Diseases:

Among the country’s biggest killers are cardiovascular diseases. In recent times there has been a tremendous hike in the number of heart-related health issues in UAE. The move to an urban lifestyle is the real culprit behind this sudden increase. Even the WHO report points out that the increase in health disease is seen most prominently in the Middle Eastern regions of the world. The situation is so bad that an average UAE resident loses 15 years of their life once diagnosed with heart issues as opposed to an individual in the West with the same health issue. The number of deaths per year due to cardiovascular complications is alarming and a trigger for opting for a health insurance policy in UAE as soon as possible. 

Statistics show that around 309 males per 100,000 and 204 females per 100,000 die each year due to heart diseases. Obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and smoking add to the risk associated with heart diseases in the country. The treatment costs for these diseases are excessive and therefore make getting the best health insurance in UAE absolutely vital. Initial scans and tests can cost around ED 2,000 while constant check-ups and visits to the doctor can burn a hole in your pocket. 

Colorectal Cancer: 

Apart from the above-mentioned diseases, men in the UAE also suffer a common disease called colorectal cancer. Abu Dhabi ranks as the hotspot for the number of colorectal cancer cases. Usually, men around the age group of 60 to 70 years are found to be its patients around the world. However, in UAE, it men as young as 40 years and below are being diagnosed with this deadly disease. As a consequence, booking the best medical insurance in UAE to safeguard your family from a financial crisis is extremely necessary. 

The figures show that approximately 11 percent of the cancer cases in the UAE are colorectal. The difficulty in early detection makes this type of cancer extremely dangerous and thus the doctors advise men, especially those who have a family history of cancer to get regularly tested and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Opting for the best health insurance in UAE as early as possible will help take care of your hospital bills if you face a health crisis in your life. 

Depression:

The stress of a fast-paced life can be extremely demanding. This stress often pushes a person unknowingly into depression. The overwhelming pressures of an excruciating lifestyle cause varying mental health issues so much so that they have become one of the top health risks in UAE. 

The taboos around mental health often prevent people from openly talking about them and seeking help. Sign of such issues can be aggressive behaviour, extreme irritation, irregular sleep patterns, overthinking, etc. These symptoms are extremely dangerous as they are often mistaken as simple mood swings and brushed off rather than taken seriously. 

Depression hampers a person’s daily routine as well as their productivity. Depression can not be cured without seeking help and therefore awareness surrounding this mental disease is extremely important. 

Doctors suggest a break from the daily routine and a change of space is among the first steps to deal with it. In extreme cases, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is prescribed by professionals. This form of treatment can cost somewhere around AED 300 to AED 600 and thus choosing the best health insurance in UAE is important so that it covers the cost of treatment. 

Unless stated explicitly, most policies do not include mental health diseases. Even a course of antidepressants will come out of your own pocket. Therefore, carefully read the inclusions and exclusions of your policy to choose the best health insurance in UAE. 

Lymphomas:

Recent years have seen a rise in cases of lymphatic cancer in the UAE. The country has slowly become the ninth-worst affected by lymphomas. Sadly, the reason for the excessive number of cases is still unknown but experts think it could be genetic abnormalities or exposure to radiation that is responsible for the rise in cases. 

Lymphomas is a form of cancer where the body’s production of white blood cells that fight off infection, becomes excessive. These cells are supposed to die after every few days but when that does not happen, there is an accumulation of the white blood cells in the body, that becomes cancerous. 

Like other forms of cancer, chemotherapy is the suggested mode of treatment. But each chemo session can be very expensive and therefore having the best health insurance in UAE beforehand can save you from stressing about money when you are battling cancer. Radiotherapy and bone marrow transplants are other forms of treatment that are usually effective. 

Other than the health risks mentioned above, there are some other diseases one needs to be vaccinated against if you wish to travel to the UAE. Underneath is a list of diseases alongside their vaccines that are required for travel in the UAE: 

DiseasesWho needs the Vaccination?

Measles

Infants between 6 to 11 years have to get the MMR or Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine

Hepatitis A 

For unvaccinated travellers

Typhoid 

For the adventurous eaters

Rabies

Travellers involved in outdoor activities that put them at the risk of animal bites

Hepatitis B

For unvaccinated travellers

Yellow Fever

If travelling from a country that has a risk of infection

Polio

Routine vaccine for all required

Tetanus/ Pertussis/ Diphtheria

Routine vaccine for all required

Chickenpox

Routine vaccine for all required

 

In a Nutshell

Other than the ones mentioned here, there are several other medical issues that you need to be aware of if you are planning to travel to or relocate to the United Arab Emirates. Globalization has increased the country’s connectivity with the rest of the world but it has also made the region a hub of fast food chains that contribute to rising health issues in the country. In the wake of these issues, getting the best health insurance in UAE is a wise choice!