Objective: To determine the prevalence of hyperlipidemia among Saudis of both genders in rural and urban communities.
Methods: Selected Saudis in the age group of 30-70 years were studied over a 5-year period between 1995 and 2000 in Saudi Arabia. Data were obtained from history, physical examination, and analysis of fasting plasma lipids. The data were analyzed to classify individuals with hypercholesterolemia (HC) (total cholesterol > or =5.2 mmol/l), and hypertriglyceridemia (HT) (total triglycerides > or =1.69 mmol/l). Logistic regression analysis was performed to provide a risk assessment model and correlation with other coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors.
Results: The number of study samples included in the final analysis was 16,819. The prevalence of HC was 54% with mean cholesterol level of 5.4+/-1.52 mmol/l. Prevalence of HC among males was 54.9% and 53.2% for females, while 53.4% among urban Saudis and 55.3% for rural Saudis. Hypertriglycemia prevalence was 40.3% with mean triglycerides level of 1.8+/-1.29 mmol/l. Males had statistically significant higher HT prevalence of 47.6% compared to 33.7% in females (p<0.0001).
Conclusion: Hyperlipedimia is reaching higher prevalence rates in KSA. This finding may suggest that CAD will soon be a major health problem. Reduction in obesity by adopting healthier eating habits, and increasing physical activity are of considerable importance to our community.