A doctor treats a patient. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Getty Images

Abu Dhabi: Cardiovascular diseases account for 37 per cent of all deaths in Saudi Arabia according to Saudi Health Ministry statistics local media reported.

A recent statistic, obtained by Al Watan newspaper, also showed that 15 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s population suffer from hypertension, a risk factor that contributes significantly to cardiovascular diseases.

European statistics from 2017 showed each year cardiovascular disease (CVD) caused 3.9 million deaths in Europe and over 1.8 million deaths in the European Union (EU). CVD accounts for 45 per cent of all deaths in Europe and 37 per cent of all deaths in the EU.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) include coronary heart disease (CHD), cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. CVD is the primary cause of death worldwide, accounting for 31 per cent of all deaths and  more  than 18 million deaths annually. The majority of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Considerable efforts have been made in Saudi Arabia to define, identify and modify risk factors for CVD in order to develop treatments that promote an age-adjusted decline in CVD mortality, a report released by the Health Ministry said.

Although a significant proportion of extrinsic risk factors for CVD (such as cigarette smoking, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity) are preventable, the incidence of CVDs continues to increase because of inadequate prevention measures, the report argued.

More  than 23 million people are projected to die annually from CVD by 2030.

According to the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, chronic, noncommunicable diseases account for the majority of fatalities in Saudi Arabia.

The 2008 World Health Report indicated that 144 (35%) of the 413 deaths per 100,000 in 2002 in KSA were due to CVD. CHD represents the third most common cause of hospital-based mortality, behind road traffic accidents and senility. CHD has also been attributed to the increasing and high prevalence of the aforementioned risk factors. An increase in sedentary behavior is likely to be an important driver of CVDs in the Kingdom.