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author:("hersh, Ahmad")
1.  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
2.  Gender Disparities in the Presentation, Management and Outcomes of Acute Coronary Syndrome Patients: Data from the 2nd Gulf Registry of Acute Coronary Events (Gulf RACE-2) 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e55508.
Gender-related differences in mortality of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) have been reported. The extent and causes of these differences in the Middle-East are poorly understood. We studied to what extent difference in outcome, specifically 1-year mortality are attributable to demographic, baseline clinical differences at presentation, and management differences between female and male patients.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Baseline characteristics, treatment patterns, and 1-year mortality of 7390 ACS patients in 65 hospitals in 6 Arabian Gulf countries were evaluated during 2008–2009, as part of the 2nd Gulf Registry of Acute Coronary Events (Gulf RACE-2). Women were older (61.3±11.8 vs. 55.6±12.4; P<0.001), more overweight (BMI: 28.1±6.6 vs. 26.7±5.1; P<0.001), and more likely to have a history of hypertension, hyperlipidemia or diabetes. Fewer women than men received angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE), aspirin, clopidogrel, beta blockers or statins at discharge. They also underwent fewer invasive procedures including angiography (27.0% vs. 34.0%; P<0.001), percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) (10.5% vs. 15.6%; P<0.001) and reperfusion therapy (6.9% vs. 20.2%; P<0.001) than men. Women were at higher unadjusted risk for in-hospital death (6.8% vs. 4.0%, P<0.001) and heart failure (HF) (18% vs. 11.8%, P<0.001). Both 1-month and 1-year mortality rates were higher in women than men (11% vs. 7.4% and 17.3% vs. 11.4%, respectively, P<0.001). Both baseline and management differences contributed to a worse outcome in women. Together these variables explained almost all mortality disparities.
Differences between genders in mortality appeared to be largely explained by differences in prognostic variables and management patterns. However, the origin of the latter differences need further study.
PMCID: PMC3566183  PMID: 23405162
3.  Impact of diabetes on hospital adverse cardiovascular outcomes in acute coronary syndrome patients: Data from the Saudi project of acute coronary events 
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a major public health problem in Saudi Arabia. DM patients who present with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) have worse cardiovascular outcomes. We characterized clinical features and hospital outcomes of diabetic patients with ACS in Saudi Arabia.
ACS patients enrolled in the Saudi Project for Assessment of Acute Coronary Syndrome (SPACE) study from December 2005 to December 2007, either with DM or newly diagnosed during hospitalization were eligible. Baseline demographics, clinical presentation, therapies, and in-hospital outcomes were compared with non-diabetic patients.
Of the 5055 ACS patients enrolled in SPACE, 2929 (58.1%) had DM (mean age 60.2 ± 11.5, 71.6% male, and 87.6% Saudi nationals). Diabetic patients had higher risk-factor (e.g., hypertension, hyperlipidemia) prevalences and were more likely to present with non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction (40.2% vs. 31.4%, p < 0.001), heart failure (25.4% vs. 13.9%, p < 0.001), significant left ventricular systolic dysfunction and multi-vessel disease. Diabetic patients had higher in-hospital heart failure, cardiogenic shock, and re-infarction rates. Adjusted odds ratio for in-hospital mortality in diabetic patients was 1.83 (95% CI, 1.02–3.30, p = 0.042).
A substantial proportion of Saudi patients presenting with ACS have DM and a significantly worse prognosis. These data highlight the importance of cardiovascular preventative interventions in the general population.
PMCID: PMC3809463  PMID: 24174830
Diabetes; Coronary artery disease; Saudi Arabia; Registry; Acute coronary syndrome; In-hospital mortality
4.  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
5.  Immediate and one-year outcome of patients presenting with Acute Coronary Syndrome complicated by stroke: Findings from the 2nd Gulf Registry of Acute Coronary Events (Gulf RACE-2) 
Stroke is a potential complication of acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence, risk factors predisposing to stroke, in-hospital and 1-year mortality among patients presenting with ACS in the Middle East.
For a period of 9 months in 2008 to 2009, 7,930 consecutive ACS patients were enrolled from 65 hospitals in 6 Middle East countries.
The prevalence of in-hospital stroke following ACS was 0.70%. Most cases were ST segment elevation MI-related (STEMI) and ischemic stroke in nature. Patients with in-hospital stroke were 5 years older than patients without stroke and were more likely to have hypertension (66% vs. 47.6%, P = 0.001). There were no differences between the two groups in regards to gender, other cardiovascular risk factors, or prior cardiovascular disease. Patients with stroke were more likely to present with atypical symptoms, advanced Killip class and less likely to be treated with evidence-based therapies. Independent predictors of stroke were hypertension, advanced killip class, ACS type –STEMI and cardiogenic shock. Stroke was associated with increased risk of in-hospital (39.3% vs. 4.3%) and one-year mortality (52% vs. 12.3%).
There is low incidence of in-hospital stroke in Middle-Eastern patients presenting with ACS but with very high in-hospital and one-year mortality rates. Stroke patients were less likely to be appropriately treated with evidence-based therapy. Future work should be focused on reducing the risk and improving the outcome of this devastating complication.
PMCID: PMC3480946  PMID: 22894647
Acute coronary syndrome; Myocardial infarction; Stroke; Risk factors; Prognosis
6.  Clinical Profile and Mortality of ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction Patients Receiving Thrombolytic Therapy in the Middle East 
Little is known about thrombolytic therapy patterns in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in the Middle East. The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinical profile and mortality of STEMI patients who arrived in hospital within 12 hours from pain onset and received thrombolytic therapy.
Patients and Methods:
This was a prospective, multinational, multi-centre, observational survey of consecutive acute coronary syndrome patients admitted to 65 hospitals in six Middle Eastern countries during the period between October 2008 and June 2009, as part of Gulf RACE-II (Registry of Acute Coronary Events). Analyses were performed using univariate statistics.
Out of 2,465 STEMI patients, 66% (n = 1,586) were thrombolysed with namely: streptokinase (43%), reteplase (44%), tenecteplase (10%), and alteplase (3%). 22.7% received no reperfusion. Median age of the study cohort was 50 (45-59) years with majority being males (91%). The overall median symptom onset-to-presentation and door-to-needle times were 165 (95- 272) minutes and 38 (24-60) minutes, respectively. Generally, patients presenting with higher GRACE risk scores were treated with newer thrombolytic agents (reteplase and tenecteplase) (P < 0.001). The use of newer thrombolytic agents was associated with a significantly lower mortality at both 1-month (0.8% vs. 1.7% vs. 4.2%; P = 0.014) and 1-year (0% vs. 1.7% vs. 3.4%; P = 0.044) compared to streptokinase use.
Majority of STEMI patients from the Middle East were thrombolysed with streptokinase and reteplase in equal numbers. Nearly one-fifth of patients did not receive any reperfusion therapy. There was inappropriately long symptom-onset to hospital presentation as well as door-to-needle times. Use of newer thrombolytic agents in high risk patients was appropriate. Newer thrombolytic agents were associated with significantly lower mortality at 1-month and 1-year compared to the older agent, streptokinase.
PMCID: PMC3424777  PMID: 22919446
Acute coronary syndrome; GRACE score; Middle East; mortality; reteplase; STEMI; streptokinase; tenecteplase; thrombolytic therapy
7.  Polyvascular Disease in Patients Presenting with Acute Coronary Syndrome: Its Predictors and Outcomes 
The Scientific World Journal  2012;2012:284851.
We evaluated prevalence and clinical outcome of polyvascular disease (PolyVD) in patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Data for 7689 consecutive ACS patients were collected from the 2nd Gulf Registry of Acute Coronary Events between October 2008 and June 2009. Patients were divided into 2 groups (ACS with versus without PolyVD). All-cause mortality was assessed at 1 and 12 months. Patients with PolyVD were older and more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors. On presentation, those patients were more likely to have atypical angina, high resting heart rate, high Killip class, and GRACE risk scoring. They were less likely to receive evidence-based therapies. Diabetes mellitus, renal failure, and hypertension were independent predictors for presence of PolyVD. PolyVD was associated with worse in-hospital outcomes (except for major bleedings) and all-cause mortality even after adjusting for baseline covariates. Great efforts should be directed toward primary and secondary preventive measures.
PMCID: PMC3259691  PMID: 22272171
8.  Weekend Versus Weekday, Morning Versus Evening Admission in Relationship to Mortality in Acute Coronary Syndrome Patients in 6 Middle Eastern Countries: Results from Gulf Race 2 Registry 
We used prospective cohort data of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) to compare their management on weekdays/mornings with weekends/nights, and the possible impact of this on 1-month and 1-year mortality. Analyses were evaluated using univariate and multivariate statistics. Of the 4,616 patients admitted to hospitals with ACS, 76% were on weekdays. There were no significant differences in 1-month (odds ratio (OR), 0.88; 95% CI: 0.68-1.14) and 1-year mortality (OR, 0.88; 95% CI: 0.70-1.10), respectively, between weekday and weekend admissions. Similarly, there were no significant differences in 1-month (OR, 0.92; 95% CI: 0.73-1.15) and 1-year mortality (OR, 0.98; 95% CI: 0.80-1.20), respectively, between nights and day admissions. In conclusion, apart from lower utilization of angiography (P < .001) at weekends, there were largely no significant discrepancies in the management and care of patients admitted with ACS on weekdays and during morning hours compared with patients admitted on weekends and night hours, and the overall 30-day and 1-year mortality was similar between both the cohorts.
PMCID: PMC3447162  PMID: 23002404
Acute coronary syndrome; Weekend; Weekday; Mortality; Admission.
9.  Baseline characteristics, management practices, and in-hospital outcomes of patients with acute coronary syndromes: Results of the Saudi project for assessment of coronary events (SPACE) registry 
The Saudi Project for Assessment of Coronary Events (SPACE) registry is the first in Saudi Arabia to study the clinical features, management, and in-hospital outcomes of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients.
We conducted a prospective registry study in 17 hospitals in Saudi Arabia between December 2005 and December 2007. ACS patients included those with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), non-ST elevation myocardial infarction and unstable angina; both were reported collectively as NSTEACS (non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome).
5055 patients were enrolled with mean age ± SD of 58 ± 12.9 years; 77.4% men, 82.4% Saudi nationals; 41.5% had STEMI, and 5.1% arrived at the hospital by ambulance. History of diabetes mellitus was present in 58.1%, hypertension in 55.3%, hyperlipidemia in 41.1%, and 32.8% were current smokers; all these were more common in NSTEACS patients, except for smoking (all P < 0.0001). In-hospital medications were: aspirin (97.7%), clopidogrel (83.7%), beta-blockers (81.6%), angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers (75.1%), and statins (93.3%). Median time from symptom onset to hospital arrival for STEMI patients was 150 min (IQR: 223), 17.5% had primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), 69.1% had thrombolytic therapy, and 14.8% received it at less than 30 min of hospital arrival. In-hospital outcomes included recurrent myocardial infarction (1.5%), recurrent ischemia (12.6%), cardiogenic shock (4.3%), stroke (0.9%), major bleeding (1.3%). In-hospital mortality was 3.0%.
ACS patients in Saudi Arabia present at a younger age, have much higher prevalence of diabetes mellitus, less access to ambulance use, delayed treatment by thrombolytic therapy, and less primary PCI compared with patients in the developed countries. This is the first national ACS registry in our country and it demonstrated knowledge-care gaps that require further improvements.
PMCID: PMC3727434  PMID: 23960654
Acute coronary syndromes; Acute myocardial infarction; Unstable angina; Registry; Saudi Arabia; Middle East
10.  The Saudi Project for Assessment of Coronary Events (SPACE) registry: Design and results of a phase I pilot study 
The Canadian Journal of Cardiology  2009;25(7):e255-e258.
The delay between the availability of clinical evidence and its application to the care of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains undefined. The Saudi Project for Assessment of Coronary Events (SPACE) registry provides a comprehensive view of the current diagnostic and treatment strategies for patients with ACS; thus, the registry may be used to identify opportunities to improve the care of these patients.
Eight hospitals in different regions of Saudi Arabia were involved in the pilot phase of the registry, from December 2005 to July 2006. The study patients included individuals with ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), non-STEMI and unstable angina.
A total of 435 patients (77% men and 80% Saudis) with a mean age of 57.1 years were enrolled. Medical history included previously diagnosed ischemic heart disease (32%), percutaneous coronary intervention (12%), diabetes mellitus (53%), hypertension (48%), current smoking (39%), hyperlipidemia (31%) and family history of premature coronary artery disease (11%). The median door-to-needle time for fibrinolytic therapy received by patients with STEMIs was 90 min. Inhospital medications included acetylsalicylic acid (98%), clopidogrel (73%), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (74%), beta-blockers (73%), statins (88%), unfractionated heparin (80%), low-molecular weight heparin (22%) and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors (9%). The inhospital mortality rate was 5%.
The first nationwide registry of patients with ACS in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is presented. In contrast to registries from developed countries, our cohort is characterized by a younger age at presentation and a much higher prevalence of diabetes mellitus. Most patients with STEMIs did not receive fibrinolytic therapy within the time recommended in the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines. The results of the present pilot study show potential targets for improvement in care.
PMCID: PMC2723036  PMID: 19584982
Acute coronary syndrome; Fibrinolytic therapy; Middle East; Registry; Saudi Arabia
11.  Obstructive sleep apnea and cardiac arrhythmias 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2010;5(1):10-17.
Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), which includes obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as its most extreme variant, is characterized by intermittent episodes of partial or complete obstruction of the upper airway, leading to cessation of breathing while asleep. Cardiac arrhythmias are common problems in OSA patients, although the true prevalence and clinical relevance of cardiac arrhythmias remains to be determined. The presence and complexity of tachyarrhythmias and bradyarrhythmias may influence morbidity, mortality and quality of life for patients with OSA. Although the exact mechanisms underlying the link between OSA and cardiac arrhythmias are not well established, they could be some of the same proposed mechanisms relating OSA to different cardiovascular diseases, such as repetitive pharyngeal collapse during sleep, which leads to markedly reduced or absent airflow, followed by oxyhemoglobin desaturation, persistent inspiratory efforts against an occluded airway and termination by arousal from sleep. These mechanisms elicit a variety of autonomic, hemodynamic, humoral and neuroendocrine responses that evoke acute and chronic changes in cardiovascular function. However, despite substantial research effort, the goals of determining in advance which patients will respond most favorably to certain treatment options (such as continuous positive airway pressure, tracheostomy or cardioversion) and the developing alternative treatments remain largely elusive. Therefore, this literature review aims to summarize a broad array of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the relationship between OSA and cardiac arrhythmias and the extent of this association from an epidemiological perspective, thereby attempting to assess the effects of OSA treatment on the presence of cardiac arrhythmias.
PMCID: PMC2841803  PMID: 20351955
Arrhythmia; OSA; sleep apnea
13.  Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Therapy: A Single Center Experience in Saudi Arabia 
Internal Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD) has been shown to decrease mortality in patients such as those with structural heart disease or at high risk of sudden cardiac death. To date there is no data regarding the clinical features, and outcomes of ICD patients in Saudi Arabia. Accordingly, we explored the clinical features and outcomes of ICD therapy among Saudis.
Patients who had ICD implantation in King Khalid University Hospital from November 2007 until January 2010 were enrolled.
One hundred and eight ICD were implanted between November 2007 and February 2010. The mean age was 58.6±13.2 years. The majority were male 94 (87%), the rate of Diabetes Mellitus (DM) was 58.3%, Hypertension (HTN) was 61.1%, and 63% were smokers. The mean ejection fraction (EF) was 24.5%. Of the 108 patient 90(83.3%) had ICD insertion for primary prevention and 18(16.7%) for secondary prevention. Of the 90 patients who ICD for primary prevention 62 (57.4%) had ischemic cardiomyopathy, 39(36.1%) had dilated cardiomyopathy and 7 (6.5%) had channelopathy. Over a mean follow-up of 18 months 4 (3.7%) died.
Our study describes for the first time patients characteristic and outcomes for ICD therapy in Saudi Arabia. Our patients are younger and have higher prevalence of risk factors that those in Western countries.
PMCID: PMC3002076  PMID: 21160914
Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator; Saudi Arabia.
15.  Atrial fibrillation: Challenges and opportunities 
The Canadian Journal of Cardiology  2006;22(Suppl C):21C-26C.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice. There are many pharmacological and nonpharmacological options available for AF patients. There is, however, a great deal of dissatisfaction with the available treatments of this arrhythmia. Furthermore, AF management remains associated with many challenges that make the treatment of AF a vexing problem. The present overview discusses these challenges and explores the opportunities associated with them.
PMCID: PMC2793882  PMID: 16929387
Anticoagulation; Arrhythmia management; Atrial fibrillation; Epidemiology; Treatment
16.  Pulmonary edema postcardioversion: A potential calcium signalling problem 
The present report describes an unusual case of pulmonary edema after adenosine cardioversion of a supraventricular tachycardia. Despite a structurally normal heart, a 52-year-old woman presented with pulmonary edema on two separate occasions, having had her atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia terminated with 12 mg of intravenous adenosine. A third similar episode of tachycardia that was terminated with verapamil was not complicated by pulmonary edema.
PMCID: PMC2528929  PMID: 16520859
Calcium signaling; Cardioversion; Pulmonary edema; Verapamil

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