BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a common autosomal dominant disorder that can result in premature atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Limited data are available worldwide about the prevalence and management of FH. Here, we aimed to estimate the prevalence and management of patients with FH in five Arabian Gulf countries (Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Bahrain).
METHODS: The multicentre, multinational Gulf FH registry included adults (≥18 years old) recruited from outpatient clinics in 14 tertiary-care centres across five Arabian Gulf countries over the last five years. The Gulf FH registry had four phases: 1- screening, 2- classification based on the Dutch Lipid Clinic Network, 3- genetic testing, and 4- follow-up.
RESULTS: Among 34,366 screened patient records, 3713 patients had suspected FH (mean age: 49±15 years; 52% women) and 306 patients had definite or probable FH. Thus, the estimated FH prevalence was 0.9% (1:112). Treatments included high-intensity statin therapy (34%), ezetimibe (10%), and proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors (0.4%). Targets for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were achieved by 12% and 30%, respectively, of patients at high ASCVD risk, and by 3% and 6%, respectively, of patients at very high ASCVD risk (p <0.001; for both comparisons).
CONCLUSIONS: This snap-shot study was the first to show the high estimated prevalence of FH in the Arabian Gulf region (about 3-fold the estimated prevalence worldwide), and is a "call-to-action" for further confirmation in future population studies. The small proportions of patients that achieved target LDL-C values implied that health care policies need to implement nation-wide screening, raise FH awareness, and improve management strategies for FH.