Mafraq Hospital, owned by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC (SEHA), is planning to open a new hypertension clinic in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Expected to be onstream in early 2012, the Mafraq Hospital Hypertension Clinic will offer onsite support, home treatment options and disease management programmes.

The hypertension clinic will also provide patients with a complete evaluation, physical exam, laboratory and radiologic assessment.

The clinic, which will be staffed by a team of five doctors and nurses, will also provide dietary advice and management, hospital officials said.

Mafraq Hospital nephrology and hypertension consultant Sarah Khan said the statistics reflected the lack of awareness of the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases including diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, smoking and unhealthy lifestyles.

"Despite our recent progress in prevention, detection, and treatment of high blood pressure, hypertension remains an important public health challenge," Khan added.

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"It affects approximately one billion people worldwide, and that number is growing rapidly, with more than 1.5 billion adults expected to be suffering from the disease by 2025. As this will be the only dedicated hypertension clinic in the city of Abu Dhabi, we are in a position to improve the quality of life for our patients."

Mafraq Hospital chief medical officer Mohammad Yaman said they look forward to track the progress of their patients, "Dr Khan and her team have since worked very hard to develop a dedicated facility and treatment programme that would address this pervasive, often fatal disease."

Mafraq Hospital, a tertiary hospital with 451 beds, offers medicine, obstetrics, pediatrics, as well as surgical and critical care services that support the trauma programme.

Hypertension is associated with a high risk of mortality and morbidity from stroke, coronary heart disease, and congestive heart failure.

According to local medical experts, half of all deaths in the UAE are caused by cardiovascular diseases and the first cardio event (stroke) occurs at around 45 years of age.