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1.  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
2.  Cardiovascular Risk Factor Burden in Africa and the Middle East: The Africa Middle East Cardiovascular Epidemiological (ACE) Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e102830.
Increased urbanization in the developing world parallels a rising burden of chronic diseases. Developing countries account for ∼80% of global cardiovascular (CV) deaths, but contribute a paucity of systematic epidemiological data on CV risk factors.
To estimate the prevalence of CV risk factors in rural and urban cohorts attending general practice clinics in the Africa and Middle East (AfME) region.
In a cross-sectional epidemiological study, the presence of CV risk factors (hypertension, diabetes mellitus (diabetes), dyslipidemia, obesity, smoking and abdominal obesity) were evaluated in stable adult outpatients attending general practice primary care clinics. A rural population was defined as isolated (>50 km or lack of easy access to commuter transportation) from urban centers.
4,378 outpatients were systematically recruited from 94 clinics across 14 AfME countries. Mean age was 46±14 years and 52% of outpatients were female. A high prevalence of dyslipidemia (70%) and abdominal obesity (68%) were observed, followed by hypertension (43%) and diabetes (25%). The vast majority of outpatients (92%) had at least one modifiable CV risk factor, many (74%) had more than one, and half (53%) had 3 or more. These findings were observed in both genders and across urban and rural centers. Among outpatients with pre-existing hypertension or dyslipidemia, many were not at their target blood pressure or LDL-cholesterol goals.
Cardiovascular risk factors are highly prevalent among relatively young, stable outpatients attending general practice clinics across AfME. The findings support opportunistic screening for CV risk factors whenever outpatients visit a general practitioner and provide an opportunity for early identification and management of CV risk factors, including lifestyle interventions.
PMCID: PMC4121128  PMID: 25090638
3.  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
4.  Public Availability of Published Research Data in High-Impact Journals 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e24357.
There is increasing interest to make primary data from published research publicly available. We aimed to assess the current status of making research data available in highly-cited journals across the scientific literature.
Methods and Results
We reviewed the first 10 original research papers of 2009 published in the 50 original research journals with the highest impact factor. For each journal we documented the policies related to public availability and sharing of data. Of the 50 journals, 44 (88%) had a statement in their instructions to authors related to public availability and sharing of data. However, there was wide variation in journal requirements, ranging from requiring the sharing of all primary data related to the research to just including a statement in the published manuscript that data can be available on request. Of the 500 assessed papers, 149 (30%) were not subject to any data availability policy. Of the remaining 351 papers that were covered by some data availability policy, 208 papers (59%) did not fully adhere to the data availability instructions of the journals they were published in, most commonly (73%) by not publicly depositing microarray data. The other 143 papers that adhered to the data availability instructions did so by publicly depositing only the specific data type as required, making a statement of willingness to share, or actually sharing all the primary data. Overall, only 47 papers (9%) deposited full primary raw data online. None of the 149 papers not subject to data availability policies made their full primary data publicly available.
A substantial proportion of original research papers published in high-impact journals are either not subject to any data availability policies, or do not adhere to the data availability instructions in their respective journals. This empiric evaluation highlights opportunities for improvement.
PMCID: PMC3168487  PMID: 21915316

Results 1-4 (4)