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Int J Cardiol. 1996 Apr 19;54(1):41-9.

Prevalence of hypercholesterolemia in Saudi Arabia, epidemiological study.

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  • 1King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to look at the pattern of serum total cholesterol concentration (TCC) distribution and the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia (HC) in Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional national epidemiological household survey was carried out, consisting of 4539 Saudi subjects, over the age of 15 years. The sample was adjusted for gender, age, regional and residency, and urban versus rural population distribution. The following details were taken for each subject: height, weight, calculation of body mass index (BMI) and random blood samples for total cholesterol measurements. It was found that the mean TCC for all female subjects was significantly higher than for male subjects (4.24 versus 4 mmol/l). The mean TCC of female subjects, aged 40-59 years was higher, but not significantly so, than for male subjects (4.5 versus 4.4 mmol/l). There was a progressive increase in TCC with age, reaching a maximum at the fifth and sixth decades for male and female subjects, respectively. There was a progressive increase in mean TCC with increasing BMI values for male and female subjects with higher values of mean TCC for female subjects for any given BMI value. The prevalence of HC, 5.2-6.2 mmol/l was 9% and 11% for all male and female subjects, respectively (P = 0.74), whereas the prevalence of HC, > 6.2 mmol/l was 7% and 8% for male and female subjects, respectively (P = 0.52). The prevalence of HC 5.2-6.2 mmol/l for subjects aged 40-59 years was 14% and 10% for male and female subjects, respectively (P = 0.67), whereas the prevalence of HC > 6.2 mmol/l was 9% and 11% for male and female subjects, respectively (P = 0.6). There was a progressive increase in the prevalence of HC with age for male and female subjects. The prevalence of HC > 5.2 mmol/l increased with increasing BMI values. The prevalence of HC of female subjects was significantly higher than for male subjects among normal weight groups. The prevalence of HC (> 6.2 mmol/l) for female subjects was higher, however, not significant than for male subjects among overweight and obese groups. The prevalence of HC, whether for male or female subjects, was higher among diabetics when compared with non-diabetic subjects. The prevalence of HC (> 6.2 mmol/l) among male subjects was higher for smokers when compared with non-smokers. It was concluded that Saudi subjects have lower prevalence of HC than the European and American populations. This can partially be explained by the younger nature of the population. The prevalence of HC is likely to increase in the near future with the increasing percentage of the aged population in the community, and with the effects of a longer exposure to the acquired western life-style and nutritional habits, which is showing an impact with the increase in the prevalence of obesity. The cause of coronary heart disease is multifactorial, HC being one of the main contributors. Therefore, there is a need to study, in detail, the prevalence of other risk factors, such as: obesity, smoking, hypertension etc. There is a need to promote health awareness among the population with an emphasis on controlling weight and carrying out periodic cholesterol measurements.

PMID:
8792184
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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