Heart attacks and strokes are common complications of cardiovascular disease (CVD). People with a history of CVD or who suffer from a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol levels are particularly vulnerable to heart attacks and strokes. By reaching World Health Organization risk factor reduction targets, Saudi Arabia could gain US$3.7 billion in health care cost and productivity savings between 2016 and 2035. Over the same time frame, Saudi Arabia could also save up to US$9.5 billion by helping high-risk groups lower their cholesterol levels.
Faced with rising health expenditures and an aging population, policy-makers need to act urgently. There is uncertainty, however, around which interventions may yield the biggest health and economic impacts. The current study, Reducing the Burden of Cardiovascular Disease in Saudi Arabia, fills some of this knowledge gap by assessing the impact of two very different, yet complementary, CVD reduction strategies.