Monday 22 July 2019

MSD highlights cholesterol-cardiac relationship

RIYADH, December 24, 2018

MSD, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, recently held an event with regional medical professionals to focus on the relationship between cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases across Saudi Arabia, and the wider region.

During the event, leading cardiologists from the region focused on the increased prevalence of heart disease that results from high cholesterol and the importance of managing low density lipoprotein cholesterol or LDL-C. Prominent speakers noted that in Saudi Arabia, cardiovascular diseases represent a major health challenge across the Saudi population. Programmed community-based screening is needed for all cardiovascular risk factors in the Kingdom.

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the Saudi Arabia. Atherscerosis disease accounts for 45 per cent of all cardiovascular deaths.  Atherscerosis occurs when there high levels of cholesterol in the blood which can damage the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Once the damage starts, the LDL-C builds up in the artery walls as plaque, which starts to block the flow of blood.  This bloackage may result in a heart attack if not detected early on.  

Professor Mohammed Rudwan Arafah, president of Saudi Heart Association and Consultant Cardiologist at the King Khalid University Hospital in Riyadh noted, “High cholesterol and other fat producing products in the blood can put a person at risk of developing heart disease, blood-vessel disease and circulation problems. Extra fat in the blood accumulates in the walls of the blood vessels. This can lead to the formation of clots in the arteries that can cause heart attacks, strokes and narrowing of the blood vessels into the limbs. Early diagnosis and treatment of high cholesterol can decrease the risk for CVDs.”

“Excess weight may modestly increase your LDL (bad) cholesterol level therefore, losing weight may subsequently lower LDL-C and raise HDL cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is raising higher prevalence rates in KSA. The overall prevalence of high cholesterol is 54 per cent of the total adult Saudi population.  Urgent public health measures such as education, case finding and further screening programs are required.

“The high prevalence of diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol in Saudi Arabia and the region increases the risk of heart attacks in younger patients and controlling weight, blood sugar and cholesterol are critical in prevention of heart disease,” Professor Arafah added.

Dr Abdulrahman Al Shaikh, consultant Internal Medicine at Soliman Fakeeh Hospital said, “Education and awareness are key components to understanding how cholesterol is directly associated with the rise of CVDs – not only in Saudi Arabia, but across the region as a whole. High cholesterol itself does not cause any symptoms, so many people are unaware that their cholesterol levels are too high. Therefore, it is important to regularly check your cholesterol (LDL-C) especially if you have other risk factors that can lead to cardiovascular diseases.  The risk factors that may lead to developing elevated cholesterol are  family history, diabetes, obesity, unhealthy diets, lack of exercise, smoking, kidney disease, or hypothyroidism,”

 “Maintaining low levels of cholesterol decreases the risk for developing heart disease which may lead to death, therefore it is crucial for patients to adhere to their medication” added Dr. Al Shaikh.

The WHO projects that cardiovascular diseases will remain the leading cause of death worldwide in future years, with deaths estimated to increase 23.6 million by 2030.  

Globally, a third of ischaemic heart disease is attributable to high cholesterol. Overall, elevated cholesterol is estimated to cause 2.6 million deaths (4.5 per cent of total) . Elevated total cholesterol is a major cause of disease burden in both the developed and developing world as a risk factor for Ischemic heart disease and stroke. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Cholesterol | Cardiac | MSD |

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