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Publication date: 
August 20, 2014


To assess the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and its associated factors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).


A national multistage representative sample of Saudis aged 15 years or older was surveyed through face-to-face interviews. Data on socio-demographics, risk factors, and health information were collected, and blood sample analysis was performed. Data were analyzed using SAS 9.3 to account for the sample weights and complex survey design.


Between April and June 2013, a total of 10,735 participants completed the survey.

Overall, 8.5% of Saudis had hypercholesterolemia. Another 19.6% had borderline hypercholesterolemia. Among hypercholesterolemic Saudis, 65.1% were undiagnosed, 2.3% were treated uncontrolled, 28.3% were treated controlled, and 4.3% were untreated. The risk of being hypercholesterolemic increased with age and among individuals who reported consuming margarine, obese individuals, and those who have been previously diagnosed with hypertension or diabetes.


More than a million Saudis have hypercholesterolemia, and 700,000 of them are unaware of their condition which can be controlled through early detection campaigns and lifestyle change and medication. An urgent awareness and screening campaign is needed in KSA to prevent and avoid disease progression toward more serious stages.


Basulaiman M, El Bcheraoui C, Tuffaha M, Robinson M, Daoud F, Jaber S, Mikhitarian S, Wilson S, Memish ZA, Al Saeedi M, AlMazroa MA, Mokdad AH. Hypercholesterolemia and its associated risk factors — Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013. Annals of Epidemiology. 2014 Aug 20. doi: /10.1016/j.annepidem.2014.08.001.