02 Dec 2022
30 Nov 2022
A healthy lifestyle is fundamental for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Though CVD prevalence is high in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), data about the lifestyle behaviors of the population is scarce. Hence, we aimed to assess the prevalence of lifestyle-related high-risk behaviors and evaluate associations of personal lifestyle risk-profile to the health history of the multiethnic population of UAE. A cross-sectional, self-administered, questionnaire-based survey was conducted among 1367 residents. High-risk lifestyle scores were calculated based on five parameters: Body Mass Index, physical activity, smoking status, stress levels, and dietary practices. With a maximum high-risk score of “5”, participants were classified into two groups: Low-Risk Group (scores 0-2) and High-Risk Group (scores 3–5). High prevalence of overweight/obesity (46.8%), physical inactivity (27.8%), very high stress levels (14.5%), current smoking (13.4%), and unhealthy dietary practices (37.5%) were reported with significant age, gender, ethnic and economic differences. Personal health history revealed a significantly higher prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia among the general population (aged 25-60 years; GP) and males. Most participants (76.8%) had ≥1 CVD risk factor and many (13%) had ≥3. Significantly more GP, males, and economically underprivileged presented within High-Risk Group. Prevalence of diabetes and hypercholesterolemia was significantly associated with an increase in high-risk behavior. The use of medications increased the high-risk behaviors. As each risk factor contributes significantly to the probability of CVD, our baseline data may be used to draft primary prevention strategies to promote and facilitate healthy behaviors.