The burden of ischemic heart disease and the epidemiologic transition in the eastern mediterranean region: 1990-2019

Document Type



Medicine; Cardiology


It has been estimated that in the next decade, IHD prevalence, DALYs and deaths will increase more significantly in EMR than in any other region of the world. This study aims to provide a comprehensive description of the trends in the burden of ischemic heart disease (IHD) across the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) from 1990 to 2019. Data on IHD prevalence, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), mortality, DALYs attributable to risk factors, healthcare access and quality index (HAQ), and universal health coverage (UHC) were extracted from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) database for EMR countries. The data were stratified based on the social demographic index (SDI). Information on cardiac rehabilitation was obtained from publications by the International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (ICCPR), and additional country-specific data were obtained through advanced search methods. Age standardization was performed using the direct method, applying the estimated age structure of the global population from 2019. Uncertainty intervals were calculated through 1000 iterations, and the 2.5th and 97.5th percentiles were derived from these calculations. The age-standardized prevalence of IHD in the EMR increased from 5.0% to 5.5% between 1990 and 2019, while it decreased at the global level. In the EMR, the age-standardized rates of IHD mortality and DALYs decreased by 11.4% and 15.4%, respectively, during the study period, although both rates remained higher than the global rates. The burden of IHD was found to be higher in males compared to females. Bahrain exhibited the highest decrease in age-standardized prevalence (-3.7%), mortality (-65.0%), and DALYs (-69.1%) rates among the EMR countries. Conversely, Oman experienced the highest increase in prevalence (14.5%), while Pakistan had the greatest increase in mortality (30.0%) and DALYs (32.0%) rates. The top three risk factors contributing to IHD DALYs in the EMR in 2019 were high systolic blood pressure, high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and particulate matter pollution. The trend analysis over the 29-year period (1990-2019) revealed that high fasting plasma glucose (64.0%) and high body mass index (23.4%) exhibited increasing trends as attributed risk factors for IHD DALYs in the EMR. Our findings indicate an increasing trend in the prevalence of IHD and a decrease in mortality and DALYs in the EMR. These results emphasize the need for well-planned prevention and treatment strategies to address the risk factors associated with IHD. It is crucial for the countries in this region to prioritize the development and implementation of programs focused on health promotion, education, prevention, and medical care


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