Publication Date: 22 December 2016 Category:Primary News Ministry of Public Health organized lately, in collaboration Hamad Medical Corporation and Sanofi, a two-day educational scientific program led by renowned national and international experts. Participating cardiologists and endocrinologists emphasized the need for adopting effective and timely measures to ensure improved domestic cholesterol management in patients to address cardiovascular disease risk.The program included scientific presentations on dyslipidemia management, guidelines for lipid management, updates on latest therapy advancements, and advanced workshops on optimal management based on case studies. Experts noted a large number of patients are faced with the challenge of achieving the recommended LDL cholesterol levels. During the sessions, experts deliberated on the unmet need for additional LDL-C lowering therapy, and the potential role of PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9) inhibition in the future lipid management to prevent cardiovascular disease and manage familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) cases. PCSK9 is a protein that plays a critical role in the modulation of LDL-C levels in the blood. “The Ministry of Public Health through the National Health Strategy emphasizes the importance of medical education programs for developing a highly skilled workforce. This is essential if we are to successfully implement our public health agenda and reduce the incidence of chronic diseases. Our effort is to better equip our health experts, enhance their knowledge on latest scientific advancements and enable physicians to deliver the best health outcomes for patients,” said Dr. Salih Ali Al-Marri. Dr. Salih went on to highlight that “An internationally recognized quality improvement framework with the triple aim of Better Health, Better Care, and Better Value is being adopted for NHS 2017-2022. Collaborative public-private partnerships will be key to achieving our healthcare goals and securing the future of the country.” People with underlying conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes often have high cholesterol. In the region, adults also suffer from familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), a little known inherited condition associated with high cholesterol that can result in early cardiovascular disease. People with FH are unable to process the body’s natural supply of cholesterol in the liver, leading to very high levels of “bad” cholesterol that can block arteries (atherosclerosis) and lead to a heart attack or stroke. With the rising incidence of cardiovascular events leading to fatal outcomes, effective treatment protocol and innovative therapy options are necessary,” explained Dr. Mahmoud A. Zirie, Senior Consultant Endocrinology, Head of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Hamad Hospital. Studies suggest that many patients on cholesterol management treatment continue to experience persistent abnormal lipid levels exposing them to a high risk of cardiovascular disease. This is also due to sub-optimal patient compliance and adherence to the prescribed treatment regime. Around 61.8% of all patients and 69.5% of very high risk patients do not achieve target cholesterol control levels in the Gulf countries. Comprehensive surveillance, awareness, adherence to treatment regimens, as well as modification of lifestyle choices, is necessary to halt the rise in cardiovascular disease-related mortality. The high prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) and consanguineous marriages, in the Middle East (ME) region, results in a pattern of dyslipidemia (high amount of lipids in the blood) that is different from many other regions of the world. Early prevention and control of dyslipidemia is of paramount importance to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. (CVD). There is lack of data on familial hypercholesterolemia and the disease is severely underdiagnosed in the region. Risk factors for CVD are well documented and include lifestyle choices such as smoking and a sedentary lifestyle, and metabolic disorders such as obesity, diabetes and dyslipidemia. Studies have demonstrated that modification of these risk factors, in particular by lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC) levels reduces the likelihood of CVD-related morbidity and mortality.