Background: The increasing incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) threatens the Middle
Eastern population. Several epidemiological studies have assessed CVD and its risk factors in terms of
the primary prevention of CVD in the Middle East. Therefore, summarizing the information from these
studies is essential.
Aim: We conducted a systematic review to assess the prevalence of CVD and its major risk factors
among Middle Eastern adults based on the literature published between January 1, 2012, and December
31, 2018, and carried out a meta-analysis.
Methods: We searched electronic databases such as PubMed/Medline, ScienceDirect, Embase and
Google Scholar to identify literature published from January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2018. All the
original articles that investigated the prevalence of CVD and reported at least one of the following factors
were included: hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidaemia, smoking and family history of CVD. To
summarize CVD prevalence, we performed a random-effects meta-analysis.
Results: A total of 41 potentially relevant articles were included, and 32 were included in the metaanalysis
(n=191,979). The overall prevalence of CVD was 10.1% (95% confidence interval (CI): 7.1-
14.3%, p<0.001) in the Middle East. A high prevalence of CVD risk factors, such as dyslipidaemia
(43.3%; 95% CI: 21.5-68%), hypertension (26.2%; 95% CI: 19.6-34%) and diabetes (16%; 95% CI: 9.9-
24.8%), was observed. The prevalence rates of other risk factors, such as smoking (12.4%; 95% CI: 7.7-
19.4%) and family history of CVD (18.7%; 95% CI: 15.4-22.5%), were also high.
Conclusion: The prevalence of CVD is high (10.1%) in the Middle East. The burden of dyslipidaemia
(43.3%) in this region is twice as high as that of hypertension (26.2%) and diabetes mellitus (16%).
Multifaceted interventions are urgently needed for the primary prevention of CVD in this region.