Bahraini Experts Leading Groundbreaking Study for Heart Health in the Gulf

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Top cardiologists from Bahrain traveled to Dubai to kick-off Gulf COAST, first-of-its-kind study focusing on Gulf citizens, to address questions about heart disease, the regions #1 killer

On November 25 and 26, Bahraini cardiology experts took part in a meeting in the UAE for the Gulf COAST Investigator Meeting, to decide on plans and timelines for the launch of the Gulf loCals with acute CorOnAry Syndrome evenTs Registry, or Gulf COAST Registry. Gulf COAST will track and assess the incidence, risk factors and treatment of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), a form of heart disease, across four GCC countries. This is the first study of its kind to focus on Gulf citizens.

Dr. Haitham Amin, of Mohammed Bin Khalifa Bin Sulman Al Khalifa Cardiac Center and the National Coordinator for the Gulf COAST registry in Bahrain, commented on the importance of the study explaining, Heart disease is the number one killer, both in the region and in Bahrain, accounting for 25 percent of Bahraini deaths. This study is an important step for both our country and our region. Heart disease disproportionately affects our region, with the average age of acute coronary syndrome patients across the Middle East a decade younger compared with the West, and this study will help us understand why.

At the investigator meeting, we worked with renowned experts from across the region to agree on a path forward for the study, said Dr. Leena Sulaibeekh, Consultant for Bahrain Defense Force. We already know that many of our citizens suffer and die from heart disease. But, without understanding both the extent of the problem and how its actually being treated, it is difficult to make recommendations to improve patient care. While significant data exist at the international level, we lack the regionally specific information necessary to better understand and address ACS and the needs of our citizens. Gulf COAST will deliver the robust local data that we require.

Gulf COAST is a collaborative effort among leading cardiologists from Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. The study will track 4,000 Gulf citizens across 35 hospitals in the region for up to one year, who are admitted with a diagnosis of ACS, a leading form of heart disease associated with cardiovascular events such as heart attack.

Gulf COAST is an important study for doctors and for heart disease patients alike in Bahrain, said Dr. Taysir Garadaha, Consultant at Salmaniya Hospital. While lifestyle factors and in a small number of cases genetics play a key role in causing heart disease, we know that there are also treatment gaps for patients with ACS and other heart conditions. As a registry of patients suffering from ACS, Gulf COAST will assess daily practice in real life and record measures, such as socioeconomic factors and quality of life, to determine how we can provide the best patient care possible for this serious disease. Our goal is to observe and record current practices in disease management and treatment, to identify opportunities to improve care, and to suggest necessary steps to address any gaps.

The meeting marked a significant milestone in a process that began in Dubai this past June, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for coronary research by AstraZeneca Gulf. Improving health is one of the toughest challenges facing the world today. But we cant do it alone. Under the guidance of leading experts like Dr. Haitham Amin, Dr. Leena Sulaibeekh and Dr. Taysir Garadaha, great research, such as the Gulf COAST study, will drive this quest for better health. Gulf COAST aims to better understand and collect information of the state of patients with heart disease or Acute Coronary Syndrome, from the moment of hospitalization to discharge. This is crucial for patients long-term wellbeing and even survival. AstraZeneca is committed to supporting the best possible care for patients, and ensuring that they are supported throughout their disease management and treatment, expressed Tarek Rabah, Area Vice President, Middle East and Africa.

The high-level objectives of Gulf COAST are to understand the incidence of ACS and regional risk factors and outcomes, to benchmark against current accepted practices and guidelines, and to establish a network of collaborators in this research. Gulf COAST will cover the patient from the time they arrive at the hospital, through discharge and beyond, up to one year.

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