Coronary artery disease in Africa and the Middle East
Wael Almahmeed1, Mohamad Samir Arnaout2, Rafik Chettaoui3, Mohsen Ibrahim4, Mohamed Ibrahim Kurdi5, Mohamed Awad Taher6, Giuseppe Mancia7
1Heart and Vascular Institute, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; 2American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon; 3General and Cardiovascular Clinic of Tunis, Tunisia; 4Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; 5King Khalid University Hospital and The Kingdom Hospital, Saudi Arabia; 6Ain Shams University School of Medicine, Cairo, Egypt; 7University of Milan, Bicocca, Milan, Italy
Abstract: Countries in Africa and the Middle East bear a heavy burden from cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of coronary heart disease is promoted in turn by a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, particularly smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, and sedentary lifestyles. Patients in Africa and the Middle East present with myocardial infarction at a younger age, on average, compared with patients elsewhere. The projected future burden of mortality from coronary heart disease in Africa and the Middle East is set to outstrip that observed in other geographical regions. Recent detailed nationally representative epidemiological data are lacking for many countries, and high proportions of transient expatriate workers in countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates complicate the construction of such datasets. However, the development of national registries in some countries is beginning to reveal the nature of coronary heart disease. Improving lifestyles (reducing calorie intake and increasing physical activity) in patients in the region will be essential, although cultural and environmental barriers will render this difficult. Appropriate prescribing of pharmacologic treatments is essential in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease. In particular, recent controversies relating to the therapeutic profile of beta-blockers may have reduced their use. The current evidence base suggests that beta-blockers are as effective as other therapies in preventing cardiovascular disease and that concerns relating to their use in hypertension and cardiovascular disease have been overstated.
Keywords: coronary heart disease, beta-blockers, cardiovascular risk factors, cardiovascular disease, heart failure
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