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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7479357, 15 pages
Review Article

Women in Saudi Arabia and the Prevalence of Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Systematic Review

1Department of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK
2Department of Pharmacy, King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3Department of Critical Care, King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Received 9 May 2016; Revised 9 August 2016; Accepted 23 August 2016

Academic Editor: Stephen Leeder

Copyright © 2016 Mashael K. Alshaikh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of death in Saudi Arabia. Saudi women in particular are more susceptible as there are sociocultural restrictions on female physical activities that may lead to high prevalence of CVD risks, especially obesity, and physical inactivity. This study aims to systematically review the published articles related to the prevalence of CVD risk among women in Saudi Arabia. The search strategy covers all published articles that assess the risk factor of CVD in Saudi Arabia from January 2000 to December 2015, using the following sources: Medline, Embase, and PsycINFO. A total of 61 studies were included. Results. Prevalence among Saudi women of smoking ranged from 1.1% to 9.1%, hypertension was 21.8%, diabetes ranged from 9.6% to 27.6%, overweight was 27%, and obesity was 40.23%, and physical inactivity ranged from 53.2% to 98.1%. Hypercholesterolemia prevalence on Saudi women on average was 24.5%, while metabolic syndrome ranged from 13.6% to 40.3%. Conclusion. The prevalence of CVD risk factors is high among women in Saudi Arabia especially in obesity and physical inactivity. Public health authorities must implement solutions from a gender specific aspect to reverse the trend and decrease the prevalence of CVDs among Saudi women.