Background Limited data exist on the epidemiology of cardiovascular risk factors in Saudi Arabia, particularly in relation to the differences between Saudi nationals and expatriates in Saudi Arabia. The aim of this analysis was to describe the current prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors among patients attending general practice clinics across Saudi Arabia. Methods In this cross-sectional epidemiological analysis of the Africa Middle East Cardiovascular Epidemiological (ACE) study, the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, obesity, smoking, abdominal obesity) was evaluated in adults attending primary care clinics in Saudi Arabia. Group comparisons were made between patients of Saudi ethnicity (SA nationals) and patients who were not of Saudi ethnicity (expatriates). Results A total of 550 participants were enrolled from different clinics across Saudi Arabia [aged (mean ± standard deviation) 43 ± 11 years; 71% male]. Nearly half of the study cohort (49.8%) had more than three cardiovascular risk factors. Dyslipidemia was the most prevalent risk factor (68.6%). The prevalence of hypertension (47.5%) and dyslipidemia (75.5%) was higher among expatriates when compared with SA nationals (31.4% vs. 55.1%, p = 0.0003 vs. p < 0.0001, respectively). Conversely, obesity (52.6% vs. 41.0%; p = 0.008) and abdominal obesity (65.5% vs. 52.2%; p = 0.0028) were higher among SA nationals vs. expatriates. Conclusion Modifiable cardiovascular risk factors are highly prevalent in SA nationals and expatriates. Programmed community-based screening is needed for all cardiovascular risk factors in Saudi Arabia. Improving primary care services to focus on risk factor control may ultimately decrease the incidence of coronary artery disease and improve overall quality of life. The ACE trial is registered under NCT01243138.
- ACE study
- Cardiovascular risk factors
- Saudi Arabia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine