One in four adults in Saudi Arabia may face heart attack within the next 10 years, said research presented at the 26th Annual Conference of the Saudi Heart Association (SHA), opened today in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The conference features sessions from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) on hot topics in cardiovascular disease including prevention.1
Dr Muhammad Adil Soofi, first author and consultant in adult cardiology at Prince Salman Heart Centre, King Fahad Medical City in Riyadh, said: “The majority of people we studied were between 20 and 40 years old and 26% were at high risk of a heart attack or death from a heart attack in 10 years. Unhealthy lifestyles start at a young age in the Gulf and people reap the consequences early in life.”
Dr Soofi’s study investigated 4,900 Saudis living in urban areas who were over 20 years old and had no history of heart disease. Their 10 year risk of a heart attack or death from a heart attack was calculated using the Framingham Risk Score.
Most people in the study (85%) were less than 40 years old and 55% were women. The researchers found that 25% had diabetes, 34% had hypertension, 25% were smokers, 27% were obese, 86% were not involved in any physical exercise and 19% had dyslipidemia.
As a result of the high level of risk factors, 26% of participants were at high risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack in 10 years.
Diabetes had a major impact on risk. “When we looked just at people under the age of 30, we found that 14% were diabetic, 27% were obese, 31% were smokers and 77% were not physically active. So it’s a whole package that will lead to heart disease in a decade.”