Objective: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a major public health problem worldwide. To our knowledge, there is no national data available from community based studies on prevalence of CAD in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Therefore, we designed this study with the objective to determine the prevalence of CAD among Saudis of both sexes, between the ages of 30-70-years in rural as well as urban communities. Further, to determine the prevalence and clinical pattern of the major modifiable risk factors for CAD among the same population. This work is part of a major national study on CAD in Saudis Study (CADISS).
Methods: This is a community based study conducted by examining subjects in the age group of 30-70-years of selected households during 5-year period between 1995 and 2000 in KSA. Data were obtained from history using a validated questionnaire, and electrocardiography. The data were analyzed to provide prevalence of CAD and risk assessment model.
Results: Nine hundred and forty-four subjects, out of 17232 were diagnosed to have CAD. Thus, the overall prevalence of CAD obtained from this study is 5.5% in KSA. The prevalence in males and females were 6.6% and 4.4% (P<0.0001). Urban Saudis have a higher prevalence of 6.2% compared to rural Saudis of 4% (P<0.0001). The following variables are found to be statistically significant risk factors in KSA: age, male gender, body mass index (BMI), hypertension, current smoking, fasting blood glucose, fasting cholesterol and triglycerides.
Conclusion: The overall prevalence of CAD in KSA is 5.5%. A national prevention program at community level as well as high risk groups should be implemented sooner to prevent the expected epidemic of CAD that we are seeing, beginning. Measures are needed to change lifestyle and to address the management of the metabolic syndrome, to reduce modifiable risk factors for CAD. A longitudinal study is needed to demonstrate the importance of reducing modifiable risk factors for CAD in KSA.