Led by a St. Michael’s Hospital scientist, a new study offers a contemporary prevalence estimate of cardiovascular risk in individuals with diabetes from the Middle East and South Africa.
These regions have been under-represented in clinical trials, which has limited the generalizability of previous findings.
Conducted by Dr. Subodh Verma, a St. Michael’s clinician-scientist and Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Surgery, the PACT-MEA study discovered that around 1 in 5 individuals with diabetes in the Middle East and South Africa has heart disease.
Moreover, the study revealed a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors among people with diabetes in these regions, such as poor blood pressure control and high cholesterol levels.
Verma expressed concern about the persistently high rates of death and disability from diabetes in these regions. Despite the growing number of patients, there has been a notable scarcity of high-quality data to understand the overall cardiovascular risk. Verma emphasized that their aim was to bridge this gap through the study.
The cross-sectional observational study involved more than 3,700 patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa.
Researchers gathered patient data through a standardized electronic form during their doctor’s appointments.
Clinical research is predominantly conducted in Western countries, with male participants making up the majority.
The PACT-MEA study addresses this knowledge gap by including a cohort that comprises 47 percent female participants, providing valuable insights into populations from non-Western regions of the world.
The study revealed that 20.9 percent of the participants had atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, with notable variations among countries, ranging from 37 percent in Bahrain to 19 percent in Kuwait.
Additionally, the study indicated that 99 percent of the cohort would be classified as being at high risk or very high risk for future cardiovascular events, according to the 2021 European Society of Cardiology guidelines.
Verma stated that to mitigate cardiovascular risk, doctors advise a combination of measures, including maintaining optimal blood sugar and blood pressure control, lowering cholesterol levels, ensuring access to suitable vascular protective medications, maintaining a body mass index (BMI) below 25 kg/m², and engaging in regular exercise.
He highlighted that it was remarkable that none of the surveyed patients managed to achieve all of these goals.
Verma aims for the study to underscore the significance of global representation in clinical research, as it is crucial for ensuring that research results and interventions have broad generalizability.
Source : hospitalnews.com