Women in Saudi Arabia and the Prevalence of Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Systematic Review

J Environ Public Health. 2016;2016:7479357. doi: 10.1155/2016/7479357. Epub 2016 Sep 29.


Background. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of death in Saudi Arabia. Saudi women in particular are more susceptible as there are sociocultural restrictions on female physical activities that may lead to high prevalence of CVD risks, especially obesity, and physical inactivity. This study aims to systematically review the published articles related to the prevalence of CVD risk among women in Saudi Arabia. The search strategy covers all published articles that assess the risk factor of CVD in Saudi Arabia from January 2000 to December 2015, using the following sources: Medline, Embase, and PsycINFO. A total of 61 studies were included. Results. Prevalence among Saudi women of smoking ranged from 1.1% to 9.1%, hypertension was 21.8%, diabetes ranged from 9.6% to 27.6%, overweight was 27%, and obesity was 40.23%, and physical inactivity ranged from 53.2% to 98.1%. Hypercholesterolemia prevalence on Saudi women on average was 24.5%, while metabolic syndrome ranged from 13.6% to 40.3%. Conclusion. The prevalence of CVD risk factors is high among women in Saudi Arabia especially in obesity and physical inactivity. Public health authorities must implement solutions from a gender specific aspect to reverse the trend and decrease the prevalence of CVDs among Saudi women.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology