• Bahrain

  • K.S.A

  • Kuwait

  • Oman

  • Qatar

  • U.A.E

  • Yemen


In 1999 the GCC Health Ministers meeting in Geneva formed a “Heart disease committee” composed of GCC cardiologists and requested Dr. Hajar A. Hajar Albinali to chair it. The committee had its 1st meeting in Doha in February 2000 and planned a large GCC Cardiovascular Symposium in Doha.

In the year 2001, the GCC Health Ministers approved the committee’s recommendations including the proposed symposium in Doha, Qatar. So, Doha hosted the first GCC Cardiovascular Symposium on January 15 – 17, 2002.

That historic conference provided an opportunity for Gulf cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, and other cardiovascular specialists in the GCC states to meet, exchange ideas and build bridges for scientific and medical cooperation. During that meeting, we proposed to establish a professional society which we called Gulf Heart Association (GHA). The proposal was unanimously and enthusiastically endorsed by the entire group of cardiovascular specialists present during that meeting and so the GHA was born on January 16, 2002. Over three years the GHA became a landmark accomplishment for the GCC states.

The main aim of GHA is to improve the quality of cardiac care in the GCC states through its various activities.


  • Raising the standard of cardiac care in the GCC states.
  • Conduct scientific conferences and symposia.
  • Carry on scientific research on cardiovascular diseases.
  • Publish professional periodicals and information. (GHA has Heart Views as its official journal and a website).
  • Create professional, educational, and social ties among members of the GHA.
  • Create links and cooperation locally and with international medical institutions and professional societies.
  • The GHA hopes to establish criteria for GCC cardiovascular specialists to meet high standards of competence and expertise.
  • The GHA seeks to suggest laws to be adopted by the GCC countries for the prevention of cardiac disease and advance the care of patients with heart disease.


The GCC ministries of health formed the “GCC Heart Disease Committee” in 1999 which established the GHA in 2002.Most members of the GHA are physicians working for ministries of health or government hospitals.

GHA is an independent organization sharing the same aims with the ministries of health in promoting health and combating heart disease. The GHA is working with Ministries of Health to achieve its humane goals. The GCC Ministries of Health asked the GHA through the GCC Heart Disease Committee” to establish primary prevention programs to combat cardiovascular disease in the region and establish a unified registry for heart disease in the GCC states.

The ministers supported the GHA plans and they promised to help and facilitate its activities. In January 2003, the GCC ministers agreed to have a GHA representative attend their meetings.


Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death in the GCC states as well as in the world. The risk factors for CAD such as diabetes, smoking, obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and inactivity contribute to the development and acceleration of CAD. Unfortunately these risk factors are prevalent in the Gulf. In fact, the prevalence of diabetes in GCC states is higher than in the rest of the world.

There is already growing awareness in our region of the link between smoking and CAD. However, the public is still unaware that passive smoking is almost as dangerous and harmful to health as active smoking.

Data on heart disease in the Gulf is fragmented and rare. The need for accurate documentation and analysis of the incidence, prevalence, treatment success, and mortality of heart disease could be achieved prospectively through a well-established central registry for all the GCC states. This is the task that the GHA is eager to accomplish with the cooperation of the GCC Ministries of Health Executive Office.

This educational service to the medical profession is offered by the Gulf Heart Association

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