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      Epidemiology, Clinical and Complications Profile of Diabetes in Saudi Arabia: A Review


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          Diabetes mellitus is emerging as a major public health probelm in Saudi Arabia in parallel with the worldwide diabetes pandemic, which is having a particular impact upon the Middle East and the third world. This pandemic has accompanied the adoption of a modern lifestyle and the abandonment of a traditional lifestyle, with a resultant increase in rates of obesity and other chronic non-communicable diseases. The indigenous Saudi population seems to have a special genetic predisposition to develop type 2 diabetes, which is further amplified by a rise in obesity rates, a high rate of consanguinity and the presence of other variables of the insulin resistance syndrome. We highlight the epidemiology, clinical and complications profiles of diabetes in Saudi people. Diabetes is well studied in Saudi Arabia; however, there seems to be little research in the area of education and health care delivery. This is of paramount importance to offset the perceived impact on health care delivery services, to lessen chronic diabetes complications, and to reduce the expected morbidity and mortality from diabetes.

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          Global prevalence of diabetes: estimates for the year 2000 and projections for 2030.

          The goal of this study was to estimate the prevalence of diabetes and the number of people of all ages with diabetes for years 2000 and 2030. Data on diabetes prevalence by age and sex from a limited number of countries were extrapolated to all 191 World Health Organization member states and applied to United Nations' population estimates for 2000 and 2030. Urban and rural populations were considered separately for developing countries. The prevalence of diabetes for all age-groups worldwide was estimated to be 2.8% in 2000 and 4.4% in 2030. The total number of people with diabetes is projected to rise from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030. The prevalence of diabetes is higher in men than women, but there are more women with diabetes than men. The urban population in developing countries is projected to double between 2000 and 2030. The most important demographic change to diabetes prevalence across the world appears to be the increase in the proportion of people >65 years of age. These findings indicate that the "diabetes epidemic" will continue even if levels of obesity remain constant. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity, it is likely that these figures provide an underestimate of future diabetes prevalence.
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            Diabetes mellitus in Saudi Arabia.

            Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a major public health problem worldwide, and it is a known risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD). New recommendations for the diagnosis of diabetes have changed the epidemiology of DM. Therefore, we designed this study with the objective to determine the prevalence of DM among Saudis of both sexes, between the ages of 30-70-years in rural as well as urban communities. This work is part of a major national project: Coronary Artery Disease in Saudis study (CADISS) that is designed to look at CAD and its risk factors in Saudi population. This study is a community-based national epidemiological health survey, conducted by examining Saudi subjects in the age group of 30-70-years of selected households over a 5-year period between 1995 and 2000. Data were obtained from history, fasting plasma glucose levels, and body mass index. The data were analyzed to classify individuals as diabetic, impaired fasting glucose and normal, using 1997 American Diabetes Association (ADA) criteria, which was adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1998, to provide prevalence of DM in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). A total of 17232 Saudi subjects were selected in the study, and 16917 participated (98.2% response rate). Four thousand and four subjects (23.7%), out of 16917 were diagnosed to have DM. Thus, the overall prevalence of DM obtained from this study is 23.7% in KSA. The prevalence in males and females were 26.2% and 21.5% (p<0.00001). The calculated age-adjusted prevalence for Saudi population for the year 2000 is 21.9%. Diabetes mellitus was more prevalent among Saudis living in urban areas of 25.5% compared to rural Saudis of 19.5% (p<0.00001). Despite the readily available access to healthcare facilities in KSA, a large number of diabetics 1116 (27.9%) were unaware of having DM. The overall prevalence of DM in adults in KSA is 23.7%. A national prevention program at community level targeting high risk groups should be implemented sooner to prevent DM. We further recommend a longitudinal study to demonstrate the importance of modifying risk factors for the development of DM and reducing its prevalence in KSA.
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              Consanguinity among the Saudi Arabian population.

              This study was conducted on 3212 Saudi families to investigate the prevalence of consanguineous marriages. The families were interviewed and the information on the relationship between the husband and wife was obtained. The overall rate of consanguinity shows that 57.7% of the families screened were consanguineous. The most frequent were first cousin marriages (28.4%) followed by distant relative marriages (15.2%) and second cousin marriages (14.6%). The families were grouped according to the province of their origin and the consanguinity rates were calculated accordingly. There were slight differences in the consanguinity rates in the five provinces, which ranged from 52.1% to 67.7%. In each province first cousin marriages were the most frequently encountered pattern, ranging from 17.9% to 40.9%. The inbreeding coefficient (F) was calculated for each province and ranged from 0.020 to 0.030. Within each province, there were several significant differences among the populations in the different areas. The highest rate of consanguinity was 80.6% in Samtah and the lowest rate was around 34% in Abha in the South Western province. These results place Saudi Arabia among the countries of the world with a high rate of consanguinity. The possible consequences of increased consanguinity are presented and discussed.

                Author and article information

                Ann Saudi Med
                Ann Saudi Med
                Annals of Saudi Medicine
                King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre
                Jul-Aug 2007
                : 27
                : 4
                : 241-250
                [* ]Department of Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Jeddah
                []Department of Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh
                Author notes
                Correspondence and reprint requests: Tarik A. Elhadd, Department of Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, PO BOX 40047, Jeddah 21499, Saudi Arabia, tarikelhadd58@ 123456gmail.com
                Copyright © 2007, Annals of Saudi Medicine

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.




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