Heart disease in young women and children

Leena, a young mother, gets coronary heart disease despite an active and healthy lifestyle

Heart disease in young women and children
  • Marwan, an 8-year-old kid from Yemen, has his heart repaired with the help of UAE Govt.’s benevolence

Abu Dhabi: As the communities battle the pandemic, we have never been more aware of the importance of our and our loved one’s health.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the world’s number one killer, resulting in 18.6 million deaths a year. It has many causes: from smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity and to air pollution.

This years’ message on Word Heart Day 2021 (WHD’21) is to USE HEART TO CONNECT and it is about using your knowledge, compassion, and influence to make sure you, your loved ones, and the communities you are part of have the best chance to live heart-healthy lives.  

This WHD we bring to our readers an awareness on the susceptibility of heart disease in the hitherto assumed safe groups - women and children.

A lot has been written about males and young males, but these two groups of young women and kids aren’t brought to light as much as they are affected by the heart diseases and disorders.

Young mother with an active and a heathy lifestyle

Leena Susan Santhosh 39/F, a nurse since 2008 in the paediatric ward at NMC Speciality Hospital, Al Ain, was planning to celebrate her daughter’s second birthday whilst her husband and son were stuck at India.

Although, she has had no diagnosed heart issues, she still was a patient of diabetes and hypothyroidism whilst her parents were also diabetic, and her father had undergone open heart surgery few years back.

In mid-August 2021, she was going to drop her daughter to creche before her duty starts and felt heaviness in chest.

Leena said, “I experienced chest heaviness after walking a certain distance. My duty starts at 9 am and my routine is to drop my daughter to the baby sitter before I go to work. Initially, I ignored it thinking poorly of my fitness levels.”

Her discomfort continued for the while she was carrying her child in her arms and being in healthcare, she considered it wise to see a physician. “A typical symptom of exercised induced pain that gets better when the patient is at rest. This was a clear sign and symptom of angina. But what anguished me was her gender, age and her being a non-smoker. It is a known fact that premenopausal females of her age have estrogen protection and rarely become a coronary heart patient”, said Dr. Austin Mohan Komranchat - Head of Department and Specialist Cardiologist at NMC Speciality Hospital, Al Ain.

Confirming the uniqueness of her case, Dr. Syed Tanveer - Consultant Cardiologist said, “We undertook specialised blood tests – the enzyme markers – troponins, and ECG but expectedly everything came normal.”

But the pain and chest discomfort continued rather it increased by the day and finally she could not complete the tread mill test and here was the point that her doctor had to order the Angiography – the gold standard in diagnosing a coronary heart disease. “Shockingly, the test confirmed multiple blocks in her heart’s major blood vessel Left Anterior Descending artery (LAD), the largest coronary artery supplying blood to two third of the heart,” said Dr. Syed Tanveer.

On Sep 5th, she was taken up for the angioplasty and the three blocks were treated by placing two stents – mesh like structure placed inside the blood vessel at the site of the heart blocks to provide for an easy blood flow.

She was discharged the next day and she came back to her paediatric ward – to look after her little patients within two weeks. 

She was grateful to her colleagues and friends at work who looked after her daughter and helped her with her complete recovery.

My advice to young females would be simple – maintain a healthy lifestyle of balanced diet with regular exercise and take preventive annual health checkups, said Dr. Austin.

A young boy aged 8 years with congenital heart disease

Master Marwan Abdullah Suliman Mohamed is an 8-years old boy from Sukatra, Yemen. He was brought to Abu Dhabi in May 2021 under a generous program by the UAE Govt.

Marwan was suspected to have a heart condition by birth as his growth stunted and due to the abnormal sounds coming of his heart as heard with a stethoscope.

The child was evaluated by Dr. Anas Abu-Hazeem, Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist at NMC Royal Hospital, Abu Dhabi, who said, “Marwan was found to have severe narrowing of the pulmonary valve and a big defect between the two atria (receiving chambers) of his heart – a congenital heart condition, rendering the mixing of pure and impure blood thereby leaving less and less nutrition to reach the child’s body for the normal growth to take place.”

The case was discussed with cardiac anesthesia, catheterization lab and paediatric intensive care unit teams. “A plan was put to perform balloon dilation of his pulmonary valve and closure of the defect in his heart without open heart surgery but through cardiac catheterization through a very small needle prick in his thigh,” said Dr. Anas.

“The child’s heart valve was expanded with a balloon catheter and the heart defect was closed using 15 mm device. The patient was able to walk the same day and went back home to Sukatra few days later.”

Dr. Anas credited the success of the procedure to the collaboration of all teams at hospital explaining that such delicate procedures need a qualified and collaborating teams and infra-structure.

The hospital claimed Marwan’s procedure as the first of its kind to be performed in the private sector in Abu Dhabi, and since then, many similar cases have been performed in NMC by Dr. Anas Abu Hazeem in collaboration with the cardiac anesthesia, PICU and catheterization lab teams.

Marwan’s parents who are fishermen and economically very poor, thanked the eternal Grace of Allah, the benevolent UAE leaders, and the doctors at NMC Royal Hospital, Abu Dhabi.

Expressing his happiness on both the cases, Michael Davis, CEO of NMC Healthcare said, “The stories of both Leena and Marwan are heartwarming and important for everyone to hear. We traditionally consider young women and children to be safe from the threat of heart disease.  I am thankful for their story of recovery and grateful to our team of doctors, nurses, and technicians at NMC who have made their recovery possible.”

About NMC Health

NMC is one of the leading private healthcare operators in the Gulf Cooperation Council ("GCC") with an international network of multi-specialty inpatient and outpatient clinics and hospitals, specialised maternity and fertility clinics, and long-term care homes across nineteen countries. NMC also ranks as one of the top two in-vitro fertilisation operators globally. The NMC Health Group is recognised as a leading provider of long-term medical care in the UAE through its subsidiary ProVita. NMC has a total capacity of 2,207 licensed beds across its network

NMC Health Plc was placed into administration by the High Court of Justice, Business and Property Courts of England and Wales on 9 April 2020 and Richard Fleming, Mark Firmin and Ben Cairns of Alvarez & Marsal Europe LLP were appointed as Joint Administrators. On 27 September 2020 a number of the entities of the NMC Healthcare Ltd were placed into administration under Abu Dhabi Global Market Regulations. Richard Fleming and Ben Cairns were appointed as Joint Administrators. For full information regarding these appointments please redirect to this web page: https://nmc.ae/ 

For more information:
Anurag Kashyap
VP Marketing and Corporate Communications
NMC Healthcare Ltd.
Email Anurag.Kashyap@nmc.ae 

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© Press Release 2021

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