Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a leading cause of death globally (Mc Namara et al., 2019). Recent national studies in the UAE revealed that hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia are already highly prevalent (Alzaabi et al., 2019; Al Mahmeed et al., 2019; Al-Shamsi et al., 2019).
The rising prevalence of cardio‐metabolic conditions in Arabian countries may be associated with the major social changes in these countries over the past 50 years, which have evolved from a traditional semi‐rural lifestyle to a sedentarized, urban society (Meo et al., 2017; Ng et al., 2011). Comparably, such lifestyle transitions with related increase in cardiovascular risk occurred in South American countries, including Brazil (Sentalin et al., 2019). The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study measured the effect of modifiable risk factors on cardiovascular disease and mortality across 21 countries (spanning five continents) grouped by different economic levels, including United Arab Emirates (high-income) and Brazil (middle-income) (Yusuf et al., 2019). The overall findings of PURE study indicate that over 70% of cardiovascular disease cases can be attributed to a cluster of modifiable risk factors including hypertension, metabolic (ie, abdominal obesity, elevated non-HDL cholesterol) and behavioral risk factors (i.e., physical inactivity, tobacco use).
Early detection of cardiovascular diseases and risk factors through biomarker research and prevention through nonpharmacological strategies represent a subject of strategic health and medical importance. This project proposal focuses on two major aspects of cardiovascular risk that have been a topic of our research group with the objectives to investigate:
Our studies on cardiovascular risk prediction biomarkers and their association with modifiable cardiovascular risk factors will hopefully facilitate the development of early diagnosis and prevention strategies for cardiovascular diseases.