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1.  Mood disturbance and depression in Arab women following hospitalisation from acute cardiac conditions: a cross-sectional study from Qatar 
BMJ Open  2016;6(7):e011873.
Depression is associated with increased morbidity and mortality rates among cardiovascular patients. Depressed patients have three times higher risk of death than those who are not. We sought to determine the presence of depressive symptoms, and whether gender and age are associated with depression among Arab patients hospitalised with cardiac conditions in a Middle Eastern country.
Using a non-probability convenient sampling technique, a cross-sectional survey was conducted with 1000 Arab patients ≥20 years who were admitted to cardiology units between 2013 and 2014 at the Heart Hospital in Qatar. Patients were interviewed 3 days after admission following the cardiac event. Surveys included demographic and clinical characteristics, and the Arabic version of the Beck Depression Inventory Second Edition (BDI-II). Depression was assessed by BDI-II clinical classification scale.
15% of the patients had mild mood disturbance and 5% had symptoms of clinical depression. Twice as many females than males suffered from mild mood disturbance and clinical depression symptoms, the majority of females were in the age group 50 years and above, whereas males were in the age group 40–49 years. χ2 Tests and multivariate logistic regression analyses indicated that gender and age were statistically significantly related to depression (p<0.001 for all).
Older Arab women are more likely to develop mood disturbance and depression after being hospitalised with acute cardiac condition. Gender and age differences approach, and routine screening for depression should be conducted with all cardiovascular patients, especially for females in the older age groups. Mental health counselling should be available for all cardiovascular patients who exhibit depressive symptoms.
PMCID: PMC4947790  PMID: 27388362
Depression among cardiac patients; depression among Arab cardiac patients; Arab women’s mental health; Impact of gender and age
2.  Inotropic agents use in patients hospitalized with acute decompensated heart failure: a retrospective analysis from a 22-year registry in a Middle-Eastern Country (1991–2013) 
Data about the use of positive inotropic agents in patients hospitalized with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) is limited.
The records of 8066 patients with ADHF who were hospitalized at Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar from 1991 to 2013 were analyzed to explore demographics and clinical characteristics of the patients according to inotropic agents use.
Eight hundred fifty eight patients [10.6 %, 95 % CI (10 to 11.3 %)] received intravenous inotropic support. Patients receiving inotropes were more likely to be female and have preserved ejection fraction when compared to those not receiving inotropic agents. Comorbidities associated with higher likelihood of receiving inotropic treatment included acute myocardial infarction, chronic renal impairment, dyslipidemia, hypertension, obesity and hyperglycemia. Patient on inotropes were more likely to undergone percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), intra-aortic balloon pump support and intubation. There were no differences in the mean plasma BNP and CK-MB levels between the 2 groups. Heart failure patients receiving inotropes also were more likely to have complications including ventricular tachycardia (2.0 % vs. 0.9 %, p = 0.003), prolonged hospital stay (8.0 vs. 5.0 days, p = 0.001), cardiac arrest (14.6 % vs. 3.2 %, p = 0.001) and in-hospital mortality (30.8 % vs. 9.1 %, p = 0.001). Over the study period there was an increase use of inotropic agents and decreased mortality rates.
Inotropic use increased over the period whereas; female gender and conventional cardiac risk factors were predictors of inotropic agents use in the study.
PMCID: PMC4759856  PMID: 26892533
Inotropes; Acute decompensated heart failure; Predictors; Length of stay; Mortality
3.  Patient and System-Related Delays of Emergency Medical Services Use in Acute ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction: Results from the Third Gulf Registry of Acute Coronary Events (Gulf RACE-3Ps) 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(1):e0147385.
Little is known about Emergency Medical Services (EMS) use and pre-hospital triage of patients with acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in Arabian Gulf countries.
Clinical arrival and acute care within 24 h of STEMI symptom onset were compared between patients transferred by EMS (Red Crescent and Inter-Hospital) and those transferred by non-EMS means. Data were retrieved from a prospective registry of 36 hospitals in 6 Arabian Gulf countries, from January 2014 to January 2015.
We enrolled 2,928 patients; mean age, 52.7 (SD ±11.8) years; 90% men; and 61.7% non-Arabian Gulf citizens. Only 753 patients (25.7%) used EMS; which was mostly via Inter-Hospital EMS (22%) rather than direct transfer from the scene to the hospital by the Red Crescent (3.7%). Compared to the non-EMS group, the EMS group was more likely to arrive initially at a primary or secondary health care facility; thus, they had longer median symptom-onset-to-emergency department arrival times (218 vs. 158 min; p˂.001); they were more likely to receive primary percutaneous coronary interventions (62% vs. 40.5%, p = 0.02); they had shorter door-to-needle times (38 vs. 42 min; p = .04); and shorter door-to-balloon times (47 vs. 83 min; p˂.001). High EMS use was independently predicted mostly by primary/secondary school educational levels and low or moderate socioeconomic status. Low EMS use was predicted by a history of angina and history of percutaneous coronary intervention. The groups had similar in-hospital deaths and outcomes.
Most acute STEMI patients in the Arabian Gulf region did not use EMS services. Improving Red Crescent infrastructure, establishing integrated STEMI networks, and launching educational public campaigns are top health care system priorities.
PMCID: PMC4726591  PMID: 26807577
4.  Dietary patterns and their association with acute coronary heart disease: Lessons from the REGARDS Study 
Shikany et al used data from 17,418 participants in the REGARDS study, a national, population-based, longitudinal study of white and black adults aged ≥ 45 years, enrolled between 2003–2007. They examined 536 acute coronary heart disease events at follow-up (median 5.8 years) in relation to five dietary patterns (Convenience, Plant-based, Sweets, Southern, and Alcohol and Salad). After adjustment for baseline variables, the highest consumers of the Southern pattern experienced a 56% higher hazard for acute CHD.
PMCID: PMC4710874  PMID: 26779528
coronary artery disease; nutrition; diet; follow-up
5.  The Copenhagen City Heart Study (Østerbroundersøgelsen) 
The Copenhagen City Heart Study, also known as “Østerbroundersøgelsen”, is a large prospective cardio-vascular population study of 20,000 women and men that was launched in 1975 by Dr Peter Schnohr and Dr Gorm Jensen together with statistician Jørgen Nyboe and Prof. A. Tybjærg Hansen. The original purpose of the study was to focus on prevention of coronary heart disease and stroke. During the years many other aspects have been added to the study: pulmonary diseases, heart failure, arrhythmia, alcohol, arthrosis, eye diseases, allergy, epilepsia, dementia, stress, vital exhaustion, social network, sleep-apnoe, ageing and genetics. In this review we highlight unique aspects of the Copenhagen City Heat Study (CCHS) and its outcome in investigations of clinical and molecular aspects of health and disease in the regional and global population. To increase the impact of population studies with a focus on risk and prevention of cardiovascular and related diseases and to maximize the likelihood of identifying disease causes and effective therapeutics, lessons learned from past research should be applied to the design, implementation and interpretation of future studies.
PMCID: PMC4625209  PMID: 26779513
6.  Clinical characteristics, precipitating factors, management and outcome of patients with prior stroke hospitalised with heart failure: an observational report from the Middle East 
BMJ Open  2015;5(4):e007148.
The purpose of this study is to report the prevalence, clinical characteristics, precipitating factors, management and outcome of patients with prior stroke hospitalised with acute heart failure (HF).
Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data.
Data were derived from Gulf CARE (Gulf aCute heArt failuRe rEgistry), a prospective multicentre study of consecutive patients hospitalised with acute HF in 2012 in seven Middle Eastern countries and analysed according to the presence or absence of prior stroke; demographics, management and outcomes were compared.
A total of 5005 patients with HF.
Outcome measures
In-hospital and 1-year outcome.
The prevalence of prior stroke in patients with HF was 8.1%. Patients with stroke with HF were more likely to be admitted under the care of internists rather than cardiologists. When compared with patients without stroke, patients with stroke were more likely to be older and to have diabetes mellitus, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, hyperlipidaemia, chronic kidney disease, ischaemic heart disease, peripheral arterial disease and left ventricular dysfunction (p=0.001 for all). Patients with stroke were less likely to be smokers (0.003). There were no significant differences in terms of precipitating risk factors for HF hospitalisation between the two groups. Patients with stroke with HF had a longer hospital stay (mean±SD days; 11±14 vs 9±13, p=0.03), higher risk of recurrent strokes and 1-year mortality rates (32.7% vs 23.2%, p=0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that stroke is an independent predictor of in-hospital and 1-year mortality.
This observational study reports high prevalence of prior stroke in patients hospitalised with HF. Internists rather than cardiologists were the predominant caregivers in this high-risk group. Patients with stroke had higher risk of in-hospital recurrent strokes and long-term mortality rates.
Trial registration number
PMCID: PMC4410120  PMID: 25908674
7.  The Association between Serum LDL Cholesterol and Genetic Variation in Chromosomal Locus 1p13.3 among Coronary Artery Disease Patients 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:678924.
Background. Several polymorphisms of a locus on chromosome 1p13.3 have a significant effect on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), atherosclerosis, and acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Methods. We aimed to investigate the association between rs599839, rs646776, and rs4970834 of locus 1p13.3 and serum LDL-C and severity of coronary artery stenosis in ACS patients. Genotyping of the rs599839, rs646776, and rs4970834 polymorphisms was performed on Arab patients undergoing coronary angiography for ACS. Patients were divided into group A (ACS with insignificant stenosis (<50%)) and group B (with significant stenosis (≥50%)). Results. Patients carrying the minor G allele in rs599839 had significantly lower mean of LDL-C (2.58 versus 3.44 mM, P = 0.026) than homozygous A allele carriers (GG versus AA). Carriers of minor C allele in rs64776 had significantly higher mean of HDL-C (2.16 versus 1.36 mM, P = 0.004) than carriers of the T alleles (AA versus GG). The odd ratio and 95% confidence interval for dominant model for G allele carriers of rs599839 were 0.51 (0.30–0.92), P = 0.038, among patients with significant stenosis. Conclusions. Polymorphisms rs646776 and rs599839 of locus 1p13.3 were significantly associated with LDL-C and other lipid parameters. In addition, the G-allele carriers of variant rs599839 had a significant protective effect against the atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC4370099  PMID: 25969834
8.  The Dallas Heart Study using the probability sample technique for ethnicity and cardiovascular health differences 
The decrease in cardiovascular death rates in the United States has been slower in blacks than whites, especially in patients < 65 years of age. The Dallas Heart Study was designed as a single-site, multiethnic, population-based probability sample to produce unbiased comparison of cardiovascular health among multiple ethnicities.
PMCID: PMC4374096  PMID: 25830146
9.  Diabetes and silent atrial fibrillation: A dangerous liaison? 
Global Cardiology Science & Practice  2014;2014(4):367-370.
Diabetic patients have higher risk of stroke when compared to non-diabetics and in 25% of patients the cause of stroke is unknown. Marfella et al hypothesized that subclinical episodes of atrial fibrillation may be a common etiologic factor. 464 type-2 diabetic patients were compared to 240 health controls and were followed-up for 37 months. Silent cerebral infarcts at baseline were more common among diabetic patients with silent AF (176 patients) when compared to non-silent AF group (288 patients) (61% vs. 29%; p < 0.001) and was associated with higher number of stroke at follow-up.
PMCID: PMC4355510  PMID: 25780790
10.  NIAMI: Towards the optimization of results in primary PCI 
Global Cardiology Science & Practice  2014;2014(3):228-231.
The NAIMI trial has recently been published. It assessed one of the most contemporary and challenging issues in the management of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), namely prevention of reperfusion injury (RPI) after primary PCI for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). It investigated the effect of the intravenous administration of Na nitrite given immediately prior to primary PCI for STEMI in 229 patients (118 in the treatment group, and 111 in placebo). The myocardial infarction (MI) size did not differ between the two groups as observed by cardiac MRI (CMR) with gadolinium enhancement at 6–8 days or plasma Troponin-I and creatine kinase (CK), or by left ventricular (LV) volume and ejection fraction (EF) as measured by echocardiography at 6–8 days and again at 6 months. They concluded that IV nitrites did not reduce the infarct size. There was, however, a trend towards benefit in diabetic patients in the post-hoc analysis. The small number of these subjects has probably lead to inconclusive outcome in this subset.
PMCID: PMC4352674  PMID: 25763373
ST-elevation myocardial infarction; primary PCI; reperfusion injury; nitrites
11.  RENASICA II: A Mexican acute myocardial infarction registry that highlights the importance of regional registries 
Global Cardiology Science & Practice  2014;2014(3):232-234.
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death, worldwide, with disproportionate representation in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The Registro Nacional de los Síndromes Coronarios Agudos II (RENASICA II) investigators reported smoking, hypertension and diabetes were the main risk factors among Mexican patients presenting with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Fibrinolytic therapy was administered to 37%. Primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) was performed in only 15% of patients. 30-day mortality was 10%. This study highlights the importance of conducting regional registries for quality improvement.
PMCID: PMC4352675  PMID: 25780784
myocardial infarction; registries; risk factors
12.  Clinical profile, management, and outcome in patients with out of hospital cardiac arrest: insights from a 20-year registry 
There is limited information regarding the clinical characteristics and outcome of out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in Middle Eastern patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate clinical characteristics, treatment, and outcomes in patients admitted following OHCA at a single center in the Middle East over a 20-year period.
The data used for this hospital-based study were collected for patients hospitalized with OHCA in Doha, Qatar, between 1991 and 2010. Baseline clinical characteristics, in-hospital treatment, and outcomes were studied in comparison with the rest of the admissions.
A total of 41,453 consecutive patients were admitted during the study period, of whom 987 (2.4%) had a diagnosis of OHCA. Their average age was 57±15 years, and 72.7% were males, 56.5% were Arabs, and 30.9% were South Asians. When compared with the rest of the admissions taken as a reference, patients with OHCA were more likely to have diabetes mellitus (42.8% versus 39.1%, respectively, P=0.02), prior myocardial infarction (21.8% versus 19.2%, P=0.04), and chronic renal failure (7.4% versus 3.9%, P=0.001), but were less likely to have dyslipidemia (16.9% versus 25.4%, P=0.001). Further, 52.6% of patients had preceding symptoms, the most common of which was chest pain (27.2%) followed by dyspnea (24.8%). An initially shockable rhythm (ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia) was present in 25.1% of OHCA patients, with ST segment elevation myocardial infarction documented in 30.0%. Severely reduced left ventricular systolic function (ejection fraction ≤35%) was present in 53.2% of OHCA patients; 42.9% had cardiogenic shock requiring use of inotropes at presentation. An intra-aortic balloon pump was inserted in 3.6% of cases. Antiarrhythmic medications were used in 27.4% and thrombolytic therapy in 13.9%, and 10.8% underwent a percutaneous coronary procedure (coronary angiography ± percutaneous coronary intervention). The in-hospital mortality rate was 59.8%.
OHCA was associated with higher incidences of diabetes, prior myocardial infarction, and chronic kidney disease as compared with the remaining admissions. Approximately half of the patients had no preceding symptoms. In-hospital mortality was high (59.8%), but similar to the internationally published data.
PMCID: PMC4096450  PMID: 25031544
out of hospital cardiac arrest; cardiogenic shock; in-hospital mortality
13.  Is there an increased cardiovascular risk in metabolically healthy obese individuals? Lessons from the HUNT (Nord-Trøndelag Health) study 
Obesity and metabolic syndrome frequently co-exist and are major health problems worldwide. Prior research has questioned whether obesity without cardiometabolic abnormalities “metabolically healthy obesity” (MHO), has adverse effects on overall cardiovascular disease risk (CVD). The association between MHO and the first development of acute myocardial infarction and heart failure (HF) was evaluated in the second HUNT (Nord-Trøndelag Health).
PMCID: PMC4220433  PMID: 25405177
14.  Age and clinical outcomes in patients presenting with acute coronary syndromes☆ 
Elderly patients have more cardiovascular risk factors and a greater burden of ischemic disease than younger patients.
To examine the impact of age on clinical presentation and outcomes in patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Methods and material
Collected data from the 2nd Gulf Registry of Acute Coronary Events (Gulf RACE-2), which is a prospective multicenter study from six adjacent Arab Middle Eastern Gulf countries. Patients were divided into 3 groups according to their age: ≤50 years, 51–70 years and >70 years and their clinical characteristics and outcomes were analyzed. Mortality was assessed at one and 12 months.
Statistical analysis used
One-way ANOVA test for continuous variables, Pearson chi-square (X2) test for categorical variables and multivariate logistic regression analysis for predictors were performed.
Among 7930 consecutive ACS patients; 2755 (35%) were ≤50 years, 4110 (52%) were 51–70 years and 1065 (13%) >70 years old. The proportion of women increased with increasing age (13% among patients ≤50 years to 31% among patients > 70 years). The risk factor pattern varied with age; younger patients were more often obese, smokers and had a positive family history of CAD, whereas older patients more likely to have diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. Advancing age was associated with under-treatment evidence-based therapies. Multivariate logistic regression analysis after adjusting for relevant covariates showed that old age was independent predictors for re-ischemia (OR 1.29; 95% CI 1.03–1.60), heart failure (OR 2.8; 95% CI 2.17–3.52) and major bleeding (OR 4.02; 95% CI 1.37–11.77) and in-hospital mortality (age 51–70: OR 2.67; 95% CI 1.86–3.85, and age >70: OR 4.71; 95% CI 3.11–7.14).
Despite being higher risk group, elderly are less likely to receive evidence-based therapies and had worse outcomes. Guidelines adherence is highly recommended in elderly.
PMCID: PMC3770118  PMID: 24027372
Acute coronary syndrome; Age; Elderly
15.  Mortality Trends in Patients Hospitalized with the Initial Acute Myocardial Infarction in a Middle Eastern Country over 20 Years 
We aimed to define the temporal trend in the initial Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) management and outcome during the last two decades in a Middle Eastern country. A total of 10,915 patients were admitted with initial AMI with mean age of 53 ± 11.8 years. Comparing the two decades (1991–2000) to (2001–2010), the use of antiplatelet drugs increased from 84% to 95%, β-blockers increased from 38% to 56%, and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) increased from 12% to 36% (P < 0.001 for all). The rates of PCI increased from 2.5% to 14.6% and thrombolytic therapy decreased from 71% to 65% (P < 0.001 for all). While the rate of hospitalization with Initial MI increased from 34% to 66%, and the average length of hospital stay decreased from 6.4 ± 3 to 4.6 ± 3, all hospital outcomes parameters improved significantly including a 39% reduction in in-hospital Mortality. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that higher utilization of antiplatelet drugs, β-blockers, and ACEI were the main contributors to better hospital outcomes. Over the study period, there was a significant increase in the hospitalization rate in patients presenting with initial AMI. Evidence-based medical therapies appear to be associated with a substantial improvement in outcome and in-hospital mortality.
PMCID: PMC4020445  PMID: 24868481
16.  STAMPEDE: Bariatric surgery gains more evidence based support 
Diabetes mellitus (DM) and obesity are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Recent large-scale trials of intensive medical management for obesity and diabetes have been disappointing. Observational studies and small-scale trials of bariatric surgery on DM patients have shown promising results. The effects of sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass in a larger cohort of patients with DM and obesity was tested in the STAMPEDE trial over a 3-year follow-up.
PMCID: PMC4104377  PMID: 25054119
17.  Rationale, Design, Methodology and Hospital Characteristics of the First Gulf Acute Heart Failure Registry (Gulf CARE) 
There is paucity of data on heart failure (HF) in the Gulf Middle East. The present paper describes the rationale, design, methodology and hospital characteristics of the first Gulf acute heart failure registry (Gulf CARE).
Materials and Methods:
Gulf CARE is a prospective, multicenter, multinational registry of patients >18 year of age admitted with diagnosis of acute HF (AHF). The data collected included demographics, clinical characteristics, etiology, precipitating factors, management and outcomes of patients admitted with AHF. In addition, data about hospital readmission rates, procedures and mortality at 3 months and 1-year follow-up were recorded. Hospital characteristics and care provider details were collected. Data were entered in a dedicated website using an electronic case record form.
A total of 5005 consecutive patients were enrolled from February 14, 2012 to November 13, 2012. Forty-seven hospitals in 7 Gulf States (Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, United Gulf Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain) participated in the project. The majority of hospitals were community hospitals (46%; 22/47) followed by non-University teaching (32%; 15/47 and University hospitals (17%). Most of the hospitals had intensive or coronary care unit facilities (93%; 44/47) with 59% (28/47) having catheterization laboratory facilities. However, only 29% (14/47) had a dedicated HF clinic facility. Most patients (71%) were cared for by a cardiologist.
Gulf CARE is the first prospective registry of AHF in the Middle East, intending to provide a unique insight into the demographics, etiology, management and outcomes of AHF in the Middle East. HF management in the Middle East is predominantly provided by cardiologists. The data obtained from this registry will help the local clinicians to identify the deficiencies in HF management as well as provide a platform to implement evidence based preventive and treatment strategies to reduce the burden of HF in this region.
PMCID: PMC4062990  PMID: 24949181
Acute heart failure; gulf; heart failure; middle east
18.  Study exploring depression and cardiovascular diseases amongst Arabic speaking patients living in the State of Qatar: Rationale and methodology 
Abstract: In Qatar, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death. Studies show that depression is associated with an increased morbidity and mortality among cardiovascular patients. Thus, early detection of, and intervention for, depression among cardiovascular patients can reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and save health care costs. To date there is no study in the Gulf region exploring depression among cardiovascular patients. The goals of our three-phase research program are to (1) understand the mental health issues, specifically depression, as experienced by cardiovascular patients living in the State of Qatar; (2) identify and implement strategies that would prevent depression and assist patients to deal with depression; and (3) evaluate, facilitate, and sustain strategies that are effective at reducing depression and foster its treatment among cardiovascular patients. This paper describe phase I of the research program. Using both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, we will investigate (1) the prevalence and severity of depression among patients who have confirmed diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases (2) how contextual factors such as social, cultural, and economic factors contribute to the risk of depression and its management among cardiovascular patients, and (3) formulate effective intervention strategies that are expected to increase awareness, prevention of and treatment for depression among cardiovascular patients, thus reducing cardiovascular diseases morbidity and mortality in Qatar.
PMCID: PMC3963714  PMID: 24688991
19.  Primary coronary angioplasty for ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction in Qatar: First nationwide program 
Abstract: In this article, we outline the plans, protocols and strategies to set up the first nationwide primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) program for ST-elevation myocardial Infarction (STEMI) in Qatar, as well as the difficulties and the multi-disciplinary solutions that we adopted in preparation. We will also report some of the landmark literature that guided our plans. The guidelines underscore the need for adequate number of procedures to justify establishing a primary-PCI service and maintain competency. The number of both diagnostic and interventional procedures in our centre has increased substantially over the years. The number of diagnostic procedures has increased from 1470 in 2007, to 2200 in 2009 and is projected to exceed 3000 by the end of 2012. The total number of PCIs has also increased from 443 in 2007, to 646 in 2009 and 1176 in 2011 and is expected to exceed 1400 by the end of 2012. These figures qualify our centre to be classified as ‘high volume’, both for the institution and for the individual interventional operators. The initial number of expected primary PCI procedures will be in excess of 600 procedures per year. Guidelines also emphasize the door to balloon time (DBT), which should not exceed 90 minutes. This interval mainly represents in-hospital delay and reflects the efficiency of the hospital system in the rapid recognition and transfer of the STEMI patient to the catheterization laboratory for primary-PCI. Although DBT is clearly important and is in the forefront of planning for the wide primary PCI program, it is not the only important time interval. Myocardial necrosis begins before the patient arrives to the hospital and even before first medical contact, so time is of the essence. Therefore, our primary PCI program includes a nationwide awareness program for both the population and health care professionals to reduce the pre-hospital delay. We have also taken steps to improve the pre-hospital diagnosis of STEMI. In addition to equipping all ambulances to perform 12-lead electrocardiograms (ECGs) we will establish advanced wireless transmission of the ECG to our Heart Centre and to the smart phone of the consultant on-call for the primary-PCI service. This will ensure that the patient is transferred directly to the cath lab without unnecessary delay in the emergency rooms. A single phone-call system will allow the first medic making the diagnosis to activate the primary PCI team. The emergency medical system is acquiring capability to track the exact position of each ambulance using GPS technology to give an accurate estimate of the time needed to arrive to the patient and/or to the hospital. We also plan for medical helicopter evacuation from remote or inaccessible areas. A comprehensive research database is being established to enable specific pioneering research projects and clinical trials, either as a single centre or in collaboration with other regional or international centers. The primary-PCI program is a collaborative effort between the Heart Hospital, Hamada Medical Corporation and the Qatar Cardiovascular Research Centre, a member of Qatar Foundation. Qatar will be first country to have a unified nationwide primary-PCI program. This clinical and research program could be a model that may be adopted in other countries to improve outcomes of patients with STEMI.
PMCID: PMC3963721  PMID: 24688990
20.  Acute coronary syndrome in the Middle East: The importance of registries for quality assessment and plans for improvement 
Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) represents one of the most common causes of death worldwide. Several practice guidelines have been developed in Europe and North America to improve outcome of ACS patients through implementation of the recommendations into clinical practice. It is well know that there is wide gap between guidelines and implementation in real practice as was demonstrated in registry findings mainly conducted in the developed world. Here in we review main gaps in the management of ACS patients observed from two recent registries conducted in the Middle East.
PMCID: PMC3963729  PMID: 24688996
acute coronary syndrome; ST-elevation myocardial infarction; Non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome; thrombolytic therapy; primary percutaneous coronary intervention
21.  Peripheral arterial disease in the Middle East: Underestimated predictor of worse outcome 
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a common manifestation of systemic atherosclerosis and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The prevalence of PAD in the developed world is approximately 12% among adult population, which is age-dependent and with men being affected slightly more than women. Despite the strikingly high prevalence of PAD, the disease is underdiagnosed. Surprisingly, more than 70% of primary health care providers in the US were unaware of the presence of PAD in their patients. The clinical presentation of PAD may vary from asymptomatic to intermittent claudication, atypical leg pain, rest pain, ischemic ulcers, or gangrene. Claudication is the typical symptomatic expression of PAD. However, the disease may remains asymptomatic in up to 50% of all PAD patients. PAD has also been reported as a marker of poor outcome among patients with coronary artery disease. Despite the fact that the prevalence of atherosclerotic disease is increasing in the Middle East with increasing cardiovascular risk factors (tobacco use, diabetes mellitus and the metabolic syndrome), data regarding PAD incidence in the Middle East are scarce.
PMCID: PMC3963749  PMID: 24689007
Peripheral arterial disease; Middle East
22.  Stent Fracture: How Frequently Is It Recognized? 
In spite of there being several case reports, coronary stent fracture is not a well-recognized entity and incidence rates are likely to be underestimated. In this article, we review different aspects of stent fracture, including incidence, classification, predictors, outcome, diagnosis, and management.
PMCID: PMC3752880  PMID: 23983912
Complication of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI); instent restenosis; stent fracture; stent thrombosis
23.  Does prior coronary artery bypass surgery alter the gender gap in patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome? A 20-year retrospective cohort study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(6):e001969.
Previous studies demonstrated women presenting with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) have poor outcomes when compared with men ‘the gender gap phenomenon’. The impact of prior coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) on women presenting with ACS is unknown. We hypothesised that the gender gap is altered in ACS patients with prior CABG. The aim of this study was to evaluate patients presenting with ACS according to their gender and history of prior CABG.
Retrospective, observational (cohort) study.
Data were collected from hospital-based registry of patients hospitalised with ACS in Doha, Qatar, from 1991 through 2010. The data were analysed according to their gender and history of prior CABG.
A total of 16 750 consecutive patients with ACS were studied. In total, 693 (4.3%) patients had prior CABG; among them 125 (18%) patients were women.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
Comparisons of clinical characteristics, inhospital treatment, and outcomes, including inhospital mortality and stroke were made.
Women with or without prior CABG were older, less likely to be smokers, but more likely to have diabetes mellitus (DM), hypertension and renal impairment than men (p=0.001). Women were less likely to receive reperfusion and early invasive therapies. When compared with men, women without prior CABG carried higher inhospital mortality (11% vs 4.9%; p=0.001) and stroke rates (0.9% vs 0.3%; p=0.001). Female gender was independent predictor of poor outcome. Among prior CABG patients, despite the fact that women had worse baseline characteristics and were less likely to receive evidence-based therapy, there were no significant differences in mortality or stroke rates between the two groups.
Consistent with the world literature, women presenting with ACS and without prior CABG had higher death rates compared with men. Patients with prior CABG had comparable death rates regardless of the gender status.
PMCID: PMC3533054  PMID: 23194954
acute coronary syndrome; coronary artery bypass surgery; gender gap; outcome
24.  Favorable Changes in Lipid Profile: The Effects of Fasting after Ramadan 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47615.
We assessed the effect of fasting during Ramadan on blood pressure (BP), body weight, plasma lipid, and lipoprotein variables among healthy normal individuals.
102 (68% male) multi-ethnic volunteers; mean age ± SD (38.7±10.5 years) were randomly recruited in Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE), to be investigated before Ramadan, one day after the end of Ramadan, and four weeks after Ramadan. Anthropometric, demographic, fasting plasma total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), and high density lipoprotein–cholesterol (HDL-C) were measured by standard methods, and Low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) was calculated using Friedewald’s formula.
65 subjects completed the study. We found significant and beneficial changes in systolic blood pressure (SBP), body weight, waist circumference (WC), TG, HDL-C and LDL-C, at the end of Ramadan, but not in TC. Further, there was a progressive and significant increase and decrease in HDL-C and LDL-C levels, respectively, four weeks after Ramadan.
We observed significant improvements in HDL-C, and LDL-C levels even after four weeks post Ramadan. Ramadan-like fasting may be considered for more effective lipid and lipoprotein control.
PMCID: PMC3480413  PMID: 23112824
25.  Prospective observational studies of the management and outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation: A systematic review 
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a major global public health problem. Observational studies are necessary to understand patient characteristics, management, and outcomes of this common arrhythmia. Accordingly, our objective was to describe the current status of published prospective observational studies of AF.
Methods and results
MEDLINE and EMBASE (to June 2012) and reference lists of eligible studies were searched for English-language prospective observational registries of AF (n ⩾ 100 and follow-up ⩾6 months). Two reviewers independently extracted data. Disagreements were resolved by consensus. Eight prospective studies enrolled a total of 17,924 patients with AF (total 41,306 patient-years of exposure; follow-up 11 months to 9.9 years). The majority of subjects were enrolled in Europe (74%) or North America (21%), and 0.3% had rheumatic AF. The most consistently reported comorbidities were diabetes mellitus (range 5–18%), hypertension (39–68%), heart failure (5–58%), and prior stroke (4–17%). Three studies did not report all the variables necessary to calculate the currently recommended stroke risk assessment score, and no study reported all the variables required to calculate a recently validated bleeding risk score. The most consistently reported management features were oral anticoagulation (32–64%) and aspirin (28–61%) use. Calcium channel blockers were less frequently used than other rate controlling agents, and digoxin was most common in the single study from Africa (63%). Total mortality was reported in all studies, while data on stroke/systemic embolism, hospitalizations, and major hemorrhage rates were not always reported.
Current literature on real-world management of AF is relatively limited with inadequate data to allow detailed comparisons among reports. Data on rheumatic AF and from Africa and the developing world in general are sparse.
PMCID: PMC3809474  PMID: 24174832
Atrial fibrillation; Systematic review

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