Publications by authors named "Marwa Tuffaha"

20 Publications

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Management of Diabetic Ketoacidosis in Children and Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.

Paediatr Drugs 2020 Aug;22(4):357-367

Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Pediatric Diabetes Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, 175 Cambridge Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA, 02114, USA.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is the end result of insulin deficiency in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D). Loss of insulin production leads to profound catabolism with increased gluconeogenesis, glycogenolysis, lipolysis, and muscle proteolysis causing hyperglycemia and osmotic diuresis. High levels of counter-regulatory hormones lead to enhanced ketogenesis and the release of 'ketone bodies' into the circulation, which dissociate to release hydrogen ions and cause an overwhelming acidosis. Dehydration, hyperglycemia, and ketoacidosis are the hallmarks of this condition. Treatment is effective repletion of insulin, fluids and electrolytes. Newer approaches to early diagnosis, treatment, and prevention may diminish the risk of DKA and its childhood complications including cerebral edema. However, the potential for some technical and pharmacologic advances in the management of T1D to increase DKA events must be recognized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40272-020-00397-0DOI Listing
August 2020

The health status of Saudi women: findings from a national survey.

J Public Health (Oxf) 2016 Dec;38(4):660-672

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, 2301 Fifth Ave., Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98121, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdv157DOI Listing
December 2016

Health in times of uncertainty in the eastern Mediterranean region, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.

Authors:
Ali H Mokdad Mohammad Hossein Forouzanfar Farah Daoud Charbel El Bcheraoui Maziar Moradi-Lakeh Ibrahim Khalil Ashkan Afshin Marwa Tuffaha Raghid Charara Ryan M Barber Joseph Wagner Kelly Cercy Hannah Kravitz Matthew M Coates Margaret Robinson Kara Estep Caitlyn Steiner Sara Jaber Ali A Mokdad Kevin F O'Rourke Adrienne Chew Pauline Kim Mohamed Magdy Abd El Razek Safa Abdalla Foad Abd-Allah Jerry P Abraham Laith J Abu-Raddad Niveen M E Abu-Rmeileh Abdulwahab A Al-Nehmi Ali S Akanda Hanan Al Ahmadi Mazin J Al Khabouri Faris H Al Lami Zulfa A Al Rayess Deena Alasfoor Fadia S AlBuhairan Saleh F Aldhahri Suliman Alghnam Samia Alhabib Nawal Al-Hamad Raghib Ali Syed Danish Ali Mohammad Alkhateeb Mohammad A AlMazroa Mahmoud A Alomari Rajaa Al-Raddadi Ubai Alsharif Nihaya Al-Sheyab Shirina Alsowaidi Mohamed Al-Thani Khalid A Altirkawi Azmeraw T Amare Heresh Amini Walid Ammar Palwasha Anwari Hamid Asayesh Rana Asghar Ali M Assabri Reza Assadi Umar Bacha Alaa Badawi Talal Bakfalouni Mohammed O Basulaiman Shahrzad Bazargan-Hejazi Neeraj Bedi Amit R Bhakta Zulfiqar A Bhutta Aref A Bin Abdulhak Soufiane Boufous Rupert R A Bourne Hadi Danawi Jai Das Amare Deribew Eric L Ding Adnan M Durrani Yousef Elshrek Mohamed E Ibrahim Babak Eshrati Alireza Esteghamati Imad A D Faghmous Farshad Farzadfar Andrea B Feigl Seyed-Mohammad Fereshtehnejad Irina Filip Florian Fischer Fortuné G Gankpé Ibrahim Ginawi Melkamu Dedefo Gishu Rahul Gupta Rami M Habash Nima Hafezi-Nejad Randah R Hamadeh Hayet Hamdouni Samer Hamidi Hilda L Harb Mohammad Sadegh Hassanvand Mohammad T Hedayati Pouria Heydarpour Mohamed Hsairi Abdullatif Husseini Nader Jahanmehr Vivekanand Jha Jost B Jonas Nadim E Karam Amir Kasaeian Nega Assefa Kassa Anil Kaul Yousef Khader Shams Eldin A Khalifa Ejaz A Khan Gulfaraz Khan Tawfik Khoja Ardeshir Khosravi Yohannes Kinfu Barthelemy Kuate Defo Arjun Lakshmana Balaji Raimundas Lunevicius Carla Makhlouf Obermeyer Reza Malekzadeh Morteza Mansourian Wagner Marcenes Habibolah Masoudi Farid Alem Mehari Abla Mehio-Sibai Ziad A Memish George A Mensah Karzan A Mohammad Ziad Nahas Jamal T Nasher Haseeb Nawaz Chakib Nejjari Muhammad Imran Nisar Saad B Omer Mahboubeh Parsaeian Emmanuel K Peprah Aslam Pervaiz Farshad Pourmalek Dima M Qato Mostafa Qorbani Amir Radfar Anwar Rafay Kazem Rahimi Vafa Rahimi-Movaghar Sajjad Ur Rahman Rajesh K Rai Saleem M Rana Sowmya R Rao Amany H Refaat Serge Resnikoff Gholamreza Roshandel Georges Saade Mohammad Y Saeedi Mohammad Ali Sahraian Shadi Saleh Lidia Sanchez-Riera Maheswar Satpathy Sadaf G Sepanlou Tesfaye Setegn Amira Shaheen Saeid Shahraz Sara Sheikhbahaei Kawkab Shishani Karen Sliwa Mohammad Tavakkoli Abdullah S Terkawi Olalekan A Uthman Ronny Westerman Mustafa Z Younis Maysaa El Sayed Zaki Faiez Zannad Gregory A Roth Haidong Wang Mohsen Naghavi Theo Vos Abdullah A Al Rabeeah Alan D Lopez Christopher J L Murray

Lancet Glob Health 2016 10 25;4(10):e704-13. Epub 2016 Aug 25.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Background: The eastern Mediterranean region is comprised of 22 countries: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Since our Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010), the region has faced unrest as a result of revolutions, wars, and the so-called Arab uprisings. The objective of this study was to present the burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors in the eastern Mediterranean region as of 2013.

Methods: GBD 2013 includes an annual assessment covering 188 countries from 1990 to 2013. The study covers 306 diseases and injuries, 1233 sequelae, and 79 risk factors. Our GBD 2013 analyses included the addition of new data through updated systematic reviews and through the contribution of unpublished data sources from collaborators, an updated version of modelling software, and several improvements in our methods. In this systematic analysis, we use data from GBD 2013 to analyse the burden of disease and injuries in the eastern Mediterranean region specifically.

Findings: The leading cause of death in the region in 2013 was ischaemic heart disease (90·3 deaths per 100 000 people), which increased by 17·2% since 1990. However, diarrhoeal diseases were the leading cause of death in Somalia (186·7 deaths per 100 000 people) in 2013, which decreased by 26·9% since 1990. The leading cause of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) was ischaemic heart disease for males and lower respiratory infection for females. High blood pressure was the leading risk factor for DALYs in 2013, with an increase of 83·3% since 1990. Risk factors for DALYs varied by country. In low-income countries, childhood wasting was the leading cause of DALYs in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Yemen, whereas unsafe sex was the leading cause in Djibouti. Non-communicable risk factors were the leading cause of DALYs in high-income and middle-income countries in the region. DALY risk factors varied by age, with child and maternal malnutrition affecting the younger age groups (aged 28 days to 4 years), whereas high bodyweight and systolic blood pressure affected older people (aged 60-80 years). The proportion of DALYs attributed to high body-mass index increased from 3·7% to 7·5% between 1990 and 2013. Burden of mental health problems and drug use increased. Most increases in DALYs, especially from non-communicable diseases, were due to population growth. The crises in Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Syria have resulted in a reduction in life expectancy; life expectancy in Syria would have been 5 years higher than that recorded for females and 6 years higher for males had the crisis not occurred.

Interpretation: Our study shows that the eastern Mediterranean region is going through a crucial health phase. The Arab uprisings and the wars that followed, coupled with ageing and population growth, will have a major impact on the region's health and resources. The region has historically seen improvements in life expectancy and other health indicators, even under stress. However, the current situation will cause deteriorating health conditions for many countries and for many years and will have an impact on the region and the rest of the world. Based on our findings, we call for increased investment in health in the region in addition to reducing the conflicts.

Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(16)30168-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6660972PMC
October 2016

Global burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors for young people's health during 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.

Lancet 2016 Jun 9;387(10036):2383-401. Epub 2016 May 9.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Background: Young people's health has emerged as a neglected yet pressing issue in global development. Changing patterns of young people's health have the potential to undermine future population health as well as global economic development unless timely and effective strategies are put into place. We report the past, present, and anticipated burden of disease in young people aged 10-24 years from 1990 to 2013 using data on mortality, disability, injuries, and health risk factors.

Methods: The Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 (GBD 2013) includes annual assessments for 188 countries from 1990 to 2013, covering 306 diseases and injuries, 1233 sequelae, and 79 risk factors. We used the comparative risk assessment approach to assess how much of the burden of disease reported in a given year can be attributed to past exposure to a risk. We estimated attributable burden by comparing observed health outcomes with those that would have been observed if an alternative or counterfactual level of exposure had occurred in the past. We applied the same method to previous years to allow comparisons from 1990 to 2013. We cross-tabulated the quantiles of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) by quintiles of DALYs annual increase from 1990 to 2013 to show rates of DALYs increase by burden. We used the GBD 2013 hierarchy of causes that organises 306 diseases and injuries into four levels of classification. Level one distinguishes three broad categories: first, communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional disorders; second, non-communicable diseases; and third, injuries. Level two has 21 mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive categories, level three has 163 categories, and level four has 254 categories.

Findings: The leading causes of death in 2013 for young people aged 10-14 years were HIV/AIDS, road injuries, and drowning (25·2%), whereas transport injuries were the leading cause of death for ages 15-19 years (14·2%) and 20-24 years (15·6%). Maternal disorders were the highest cause of death for young women aged 20-24 years (17·1%) and the fourth highest for girls aged 15-19 years (11·5%) in 2013. Unsafe sex as a risk factor for DALYs increased from the 13th rank to the second for both sexes aged 15-19 years from 1990 to 2013. Alcohol misuse was the highest risk factor for DALYs (7·0% overall, 10·5% for males, and 2·7% for females) for young people aged 20-24 years, whereas drug use accounted for 2·7% (3·3% for males and 2·0% for females). The contribution of risk factors varied between and within countries. For example, for ages 20-24 years, drug use was highest in Qatar and accounted for 4·9% of DALYs, followed by 4·8% in the United Arab Emirates, whereas alcohol use was highest in Russia and accounted for 21·4%, followed by 21·0% in Belarus. Alcohol accounted for 9·0% (ranging from 4·2% in Hong Kong to 11·3% in Shandong) in China and 11·6% (ranging from 10·1% in Aguascalientes to 14·9% in Chihuahua) of DALYs in Mexico for young people aged 20-24 years. Alcohol and drug use in those aged 10-24 years had an annual rate of change of >1·0% from 1990 to 2013 and accounted for more than 3·1% of DALYs.

Interpretation: Our findings call for increased efforts to improve health and reduce the burden of disease and risks for diseases in later life in young people. Moreover, because of the large variations between countries in risks and burden, a global approach to improve health during this important period of life will fail unless the particularities of each country are taken into account. Finally, our results call for a strategy to overcome the financial and technical barriers to adequately capture young people's health risk factors and their determinants in health information systems.

Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)00648-6DOI Listing
June 2016

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go: Levels of Physical Activity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013.

J Phys Act Health 2016 Feb;13(2):231-8

Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Background: With the lack of appropriate data, we conducted a large household survey in 2013 to determine current rates of physical activity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Methods: The Saudi Health Interview Survey is a national multistage survey of individuals aged 15 years or older. We used a multivariate logistic regression model to measure association between sociodemographic and selected characteristics and meeting the recommended levels of moderate and vigorous weekly physical activity.

Results: Of a total of 12,000 households contacted, 10,735 (89.4%) participants completed Saudi Health Interview Survey. An estimated 4.5 million (34.5%) Saudis aged 15 years or older reported no weekly physical activity, while only 1.7 million (12.9%) meet the recommended levels of moderate physical activity (MPA). The likelihood of meeting MPA decreased with age, education, among women, those with a history of diagnosis of select chronic conditions, including diabetes. Similar results were found for the likelihood of meeting the recommended levels of vigorous weekly physical activity.

Conclusions: We found very low levels of physical activity in KSA. Perhaps, KSA can challenge communities or employers to devise solutions and reward those with the best results. These solutions would be of great value to other Gulf countries, as well.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2014-0601DOI Listing
February 2016

The health of Saudi youths: current challenges and future opportunities.

BMC Fam Pract 2016 Mar 5;17:26. Epub 2016 Mar 5.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, 2301 Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Seattle, WA, 98121, USA.

Background: The health status of the young people is an important indicator for future health and health care needs of the next generation. In order to understand the health risk factors of Saudi youth, we analyzed data from a large national survey in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Methods: The Saudi Health Information Survey sample included 2382 youths aged 15 to 24 years old. The questionnaire included information on socio-demographic characteristics, risk factors, risky behaviors, chronic conditions, functional status, health care utilization, and anthropometric and blood pressure measurements.

Results: Only 45.9% of men and 48.4% of women had normal body mass index (BMI). Men were more likely than women to smoke cigarettes or shisha. The prevalence of daily consumption of at least five servings of fruits and vegetables was 6.6%. The prevalence of no or insufficient physical activity was 41.8% in men and 75.6% in women (P < 0.001). Around 40% of men and 25% of women had abnormal blood pressure. Mean BMI and prevalence of insufficient physical activity, current smoking, and hypertension washigher in 20-to 24-year-olds than younger ages. Women were more likely to report that they never use seatbelts (82.2% vs. 65.4%).

Conclusions: The prevalence of modifiable risk factors and risky driving behaviors is very high among Saudi youth. If these current behaviors are not reversed during this crucial age period, the burden of disease and injuries will rise in the future. Our findings call for developing health prevention programs for youths in Saudi Arabia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12875-016-0425-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4779578PMC
March 2016

Use of dental clinics and oral hygiene practices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013.

Int Dent J 2016 Apr 7;66(2):99-104. Epub 2016 Jan 7.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Objectives: We conducted a large household survey in 2013 to determine the current status of oral health practices and use of oral health services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Methods: The Saudi Health Information Survey is a national multistage survey of individuals ≥ 15 years of age. We used a backward elimination multivariate logistic regression model to measure the association between having been to a dental clinic during the last year, and sex, age, marital status, education, time since last routine medical examination, history of diagnosis with a cardiovascular chronic condition, brushing or flossing teeth and use of Miswak (a chewing stick).

Results: Between April and June 2013, 10,735 participants completed the survey (89.4% of the households contacted). An estimated 1.5 million (11.5%) and 6.3 million (48.6%) Saudi Arabian people, ≥ 15 years of age, had visited a dental clinic for a routine check-up and for a complaint during the last year, respectively. In total, 16.3%, 85.0% and 52% of Saudi Arabian people never brush their teeth, never floss their teeth or never use Miswak, respectively. The probability of visiting a dental clinic increased with education, among individuals who brushed or flossed their teeth and who used Miswak.

Conclusions: Oral hygiene practices are not common among Saudi Arabian people, and use of health care for prevention of oral disease is limited. Hence, the need for oral health promotion is pressing. The KSA Ministry of Health should develop and implement programmes, through its primary health clinics, to increase the awareness of the importance of good oral health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/idj.12210DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4834803PMC
April 2016

Deficiencies Under Plenty of Sun: Vitamin D Status among Adults in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013.

N Am J Med Sci 2015 Oct;7(10):467-75

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Background: Vitamin D deficiency has been correlated with several diseases and injuries including diabetes, osteoporosis, fractures, and falls. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), current data on vitamin D status are lacking.

Aims: To inform Saudi public health authorities on the current status of blood levels vitamin D deficiency, we analyzed data from the Saudi Health Interview Survey.

Materials And Methods: The Saudi Health Interview Survey (SHIS) is a cross-sectional national multistage survey of individuals aged 15 years and above on sociodemographic characteristics, tobacco consumption, diet, physical activity, health care utilization, different health-related behaviors, and self-reported chronic conditions. A total of 10,735 participants completed a health questionnaire and were invited to the local health clinics for biomedical exams.

Results: 62.65% of female Saudis and 40.6% of male Saudis aged 15 years and above are deficient in vitamin D. Out of them, less than 1% males and less than 2% females consume vitamin D supplements. Women who have never married and obese individuals are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D, compared to men who were currently married and nonobese individuals. Those consuming vitamin D supplements are less likely to be deficient in vitamin D.

Conclusions: Our study showed a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among Saudi men and women, and the results call for an increased awareness to ensure adequate levels of vitamin D for better health in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, our findings are certainly relevant for other countries in the Gulf region or countries with similar cultures, clothing, and religions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/1947-2714.168675DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4677472PMC
October 2015

Medication use for chronic health conditions among adults in Saudi Arabia: findings from a national household survey.

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2016 Jan 22;25(1):73-81. Epub 2015 Oct 22.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Purpose: Chronic diseases and their risk factors are believed to be common in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Most of them require long-term management through medications. We examined patterns of medication use for chronic health conditions (CHC) in KSA based on a national survey.

Methods: The Saudi Health Interview Survey was a cross-sectional nationally representative household survey of 10,735 individuals aged 15 years or older in 2013. The survey consisted of a detailed health questionnaire. Current medications for CHC were assessed and classified based on the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical classification.

Results: Among the respondents, 11.8% (standard error = 0.4) reported taking at least one medication for CHC with a mean number of 2.05 (standard error = 0.05) medication items. In addition to older age (odds ratio = 1.94 per each decade, 95%CI: 1.83-2.05) and male gender (odds ratio = 1.22, 95%CI: 1.06-1.41), those with higher income were more likely to take medication. The most common medicines were drugs used for diabetes (A10 Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical code). The top 20 drugs accounted for about 80% of all medications. Only 32.7% of medications were reported to be used exactly as prescribed.

Conclusions: Compared with the prevalence of CHC in KSA, our study indicates a potential underuse of medications as well as non-adherence to the directions for use. Interventions such as improved clinical guidelines for healthcare providers to increase utilization of necessary medication and educational programs to improve patients' adherence are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pds.3904DOI Listing
January 2016

Low uptake of periodic health examinations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013.

J Family Med Prim Care 2015 Jul-Sep;4(3):342-6

Department of Global Health, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Introduction: It is unknown whether Saudis receive health examinations periodically. To inform health authorities on the health-seeking behavior of the Saudi population, we investigated patterns of periodic health examination (PHE) use by Saudis.

Materials And Methods: We conducted a nationally representative multistage survey of individuals aged 15 years or older on sociodemographic characteristics, healthcare utilization, and self-reported chronic conditions. We used a backward elimination multivariate logistic regression model to measure associations between PHE and sociodemographic, behavioral, and health characteristics.

Results: Between April and June 2013, a total of 12,000 households were contacted, and 10,735 participants completed the survey (response rate of 89.4%). Among participants, 2542 (22.9%), representing more than 2.7 million Saudis aged 15 years or older, received a PHE during the past 2 years. Moreover, 7463 (73.5%) participants, representing 9.1 million Saudis, visited a healthcare setting in the past 2 years due to illness or injury. The likelihood of receiving a PHE in the past 2 years increased with age, education, being married, consumption of five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, diagnoses of prediabetes, diabetes, or hypercholesterolemia, and a visit to a healthcare setting within the last 2 years due to an illness or an injury.

Discussion: This is the first national study to investigate the use of PHE in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) where healthcare is freely available. Few Saudis seek preventive healthcare and most healthcare visits are for injuries or sickness. KSA may reduce its health expenditures by routinizing PHE and detecting chronic conditions at early stages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/2249-4863.161313DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4535092PMC
August 2015

Prevalence of asthma in Saudi adults: findings from a national household survey, 2013.

BMC Pulm Med 2015 Jul 28;15:77. Epub 2015 Jul 28.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, 2301 Fifth Ave., Suite 600, Seattle, WA, 98121, USA.

Background: There are not enough data on the epidemiology of asthma in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). We analyzed data from a national household survey conducted in KSA in 2013 to estimate prevalence, associated risk factors and control measurements of asthma.

Methods: The Saudi Health Interview Survey was a cross-sectional national multistage survey of 10,735 individuals aged 15 years or older. The survey included a detailed household questionnaire and a physical exam. We used self-reported clinical diagnosis of asthma to assess prevalence of asthma.

Results: The prevalence of asthma in KSA was 4.05 % (95 % confidence interval [CI]: 3.54-4.62 %). Asthma was less frequent in individuals with higher education but higher in former smokers and obese individuals. Around 76.7 % of asthma patients (95 % CI: 70.6-82.0 %) experienced an asthmatic attack, and 61.6 % (95 % CI: 54.4-68.4 %) visited a hospital/emergency room because of asthma during the past year. Asthma attack was less frequent in older patients (odds ratio [OR] = 0.78, 95 %CI: 0.59-0.96 for each decade of life). Current use of medication for asthma was highly associated with asthma attacks (OR = 9.14, 95 % CI: 3.29-25.38). Asthma attack was also more frequent in individuals who were exposed to secondhand smoking (OR = 2.17, 95 %CI: 1.05-4.45) and those who were obese (OR = 3.01, 95 %CI: 1.34-6.78).

Conclusion: Saudi Arabia has a relatively low prevalence of diagnosed asthma; however, many of the patients with known asthma do not have it under good control. Our study calls for programs to inform patients about the importance and proper means of controlling their condition. Implementing and monitoring of clinical guidelines can also help to improve asthma control among patients as well as identify undiagnosed cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12890-015-0080-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4517561PMC
July 2015

Tobacco consumption in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013: findings from a national survey.

BMC Public Health 2015 Jul 5;15:611. Epub 2015 Jul 5.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, 2301 Fifth Ave., Suite 600, Seattle, WA, 98121, USA.

Background: Tobacco consumption is a major risk factor for morbidity and mortality. The Saudi Ministry of Health started a national tobacco control program in 2002 with increased and intensified efforts after joining the World Health Organization Framework Convention for Tobacco Control in 2005.

Methods: In order to assess the status of tobacco consumption in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), we conducted a survey on 10735 individuals aged 15 years or older (5253 men and 5482 women) which was performed between April and June 2013. The Saudi Health Interview Survey had a multistage sampling and was nationally representative. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews. The survey included questions on socio-demographic characteristics, tobacco consumption, diet, physical activity, health care utilization, different health-related behaviors, and self-reported chronic conditions.

Results: Overall prevalence of current smoking was 12.2 % and males were more likely to smoke than females (21.5 % vs. 1.1 %). Mean age of smoking initiation was 19.1 years (±6.5 years) with 8.9 % of ever smokers starting before the age of 15 years. Daily shisha smoking was reported by 4.3 % of the population (7.3 % of men and 1.3 % of women). Around 1.4 % of population (2.6 % of men and 0.1 % of women) were daily smokers of cigarette/cigar and shisha. Receiving advice for quitting smoking by health care professionals during the last 12 months was reported by 53.2 % (95 % confidence interval [CI]: 49.8-56.5) of ever smokers. Among ever smokers, 51.3 % of individuals reportedly attempted to quit smoking during the last 12 months. Of those, 25.3 % were successful by the time of the survey. Around 23.3 % of the entire population, 32.3 % of men and 13.5 % of women, were exposed to secondhand smoke for at least one day during the past 7 days at home, work, or school.

Conclusions: Although the indicators of tobacco consumption in KSA are better than most of the countries of the Middle East region and high-income countries, there are many potential areas for improvement. Our findings call for the development and implementation of programs to prevent smoking initiation and encourage quitting. To achieve its health goals, KSA may consider increasing taxation on tobacco products as well as other measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-015-1902-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4491232PMC
July 2015

Access and barriers to healthcare in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013: findings from a national multistage survey.

BMJ Open 2015 Jun 12;5(6):e007801. Epub 2015 Jun 12.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Objectives: We analysed data from a large household survey to identify barriers to healthcare in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Methods: The Saudi Health Interview Survey (SHIS) is a national multistage survey of individuals aged 15 years or older. The survey combined a household questionnaire and a laboratory blood analysis. We used a backward elimination multivariate logistic regression model to measure association between (1) diagnosis, (2) treatment, and (3) control of hypertension or diabetes and sociodemographic factors, history of diagnosis with chronic conditions, and type of, and distance travelled to, the clinic last visited.

Results: Between April and June 2013, a total of 10,735 participants completed SHIS and were invited to the local health clinics. Among hypertensive individuals, women, older individuals, and those previously diagnosed with diabetes and hypercholesterolaemia were more likely to have been diagnosed with hypertension than their counterparts. Among participants diagnosed with hypertension, the likelihood of being treated increased with age and education. The likelihood of having uncontrolled blood pressure despite treatment increased with education and a history of diagnosis with hypercholesterolaemia. Type of clinic visited and distance travelled to last clinic visit were not associated with diagnosis or treatment of hypertension or control of blood pressure. Similar factors were associated with the likelihood of diagnosis and treatment among individuals with diabetes. Having uncontrolled glycated haemoglobin levels, despite treatment, was less common among those who visited governmental clinics other than those of the Ministry of Health, compared with those who visited Ministry clinics.

Conclusions: Our findings highlight the importance of individual characteristics in healthcare-seeking practices rather than system-based potential barriers. Saudis seem to mostly seek healthcare when sick. Hence, the Saudi Ministry of Health needs to implement a comprehensive plan including health education and investigations, to understand the barriers and bottlenecks to healthcare-seeking behaviour.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2015-007801DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4466760PMC
June 2015

Self-Rated Health Among Saudi Adults: Findings from a National Survey, 2013.

J Community Health 2015 Oct;40(5):920-6

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, 2301 5th Avenue, Suite 600, Seattle, WA, 98121, USA.

Self-rated health reflects a person's integrated perception of health, including its biological, psychological, and social dimensions. It is a predictor of morbidity and mortality. To assess the current status of self-rated health and associated factors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we analyzed data from the Saudi Health Interview Survey. We conducted a large national survey of adults aged 15 years or older. A total of 10,735 participants completed a standardized health questionnaire. Respondents rated their health with a five-point scale. Data on socio-demographic characteristics, chronic diseases, health-related habits and behaviors, and anthropometric measurements were collected. Associated factors of self-rated health were analyzed using a backward elimination multivariate logistic regression model. More than 77% of respondents rated their health as excellent/very good. Female sex [odds ratio (OR) 1.52, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.24-1.88], decades of age (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.25-1.46), diagnosed diabetes mellitus (OR 1.54, 95 CI 1.22-1.93), diagnosed hypercholesterolemia (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.06-1.79), diagnosed hypertension (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.22-1.96), number of other diagnosed chronic diseases (OR 1.69, 95% CI 1.41-2.03), limited vigorous activity (OR 3.59, 95% CI 2.84-4.53), need for special equipment (OR 2.62, 95% CI 1.96-3.51), and more than 3 h of daily television/computer screen time (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.11-2.29) were positively associated with poor/fair health. Smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity were not associated with self-reported health. We found that preventable risk factors are not associated with Saudis' self-rated health. This optimistic perception of health poses a challenge for preventive interventions in the Kingdom and calls for campaigns to educate the public about the harm of unhealthy behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10900-015-0014-4DOI Listing
October 2015

Breast cancer screening in Saudi Arabia: free but almost no takers.

PLoS One 2015 16;10(3):e0119051. Epub 2015 Mar 16.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, 2301 Fifth Ave., Suite 600, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

Introduction: Mammography ensures early diagnosis and a better chance for treatment and recovery from breast cancer. We conducted a national survey to investigate knowledge and practices of breast cancer screening among Saudi women aged 50 years or older in order to inform the breast cancer national health programs.

Materials And Methods: The Saudi Health Interview Survey is a national multistage survey of individuals aged 15 years or older. The survey included questions on socio-demographic characteristics, tobacco consumption, diet, physical activity, health-care utilization, different health-related behaviors, and self-reported chronic conditions. Female respondents were asked about knowledge and practices of self and clinical breast exams, as well as mammography.

Results: Between April and June 2013, a total of 10,735 participants completed the survey. Among respondents, 1,135 were women aged 50 years or older and were included in this analysis. About 89% of women reported not having a clinical breast exam in the past year, and 92% reported never having a mammogram. Women living in Al Sharqia had the highest rate of mammography use. Women who were educated, those who had received a routine medical exam within the last two years, and those who were diagnosed with hypertension were more likely to have had a mammogram in the past two years.

Discussion: Our results show very low rates of breast cancer screening in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a country with free health services. This calls for educational campaigns to improve breast cancer screening. Addressing the barriers for breast cancer screening is a public health imperative.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0119051PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4361643PMC
February 2016

Get a license, buckle up, and slow down: risky driving patterns among saudis.

Traffic Inj Prev 2015 31;16(6):587-92. Epub 2014 Dec 31.

a Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation , University of Washington , Seattle , Washington.

Introduction: Road traffic injuries are the largest cause of loss of disability-adjusted life years for men and women of all ages in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but data on driving habits there are lacking. To inform policymakers on drivers' abilities and driving habits, we analyzed data from the Saudi Health Interview Survey 2013.

Methods: We surveyed a representative sample of 5,235 Saudi males aged 15 years or older on wearing seat belts, exceeding speed limits, and using a handheld cell phone while driving. Male and female respondents were surveyed on wearing seat belts as passengers.

Results: Among Saudi males, 71.7% reported having had a driver's license, but more than 43% of unlicensed males drove a vehicle. Among drivers, 86.1% engaged in at least one risky behavior while driving. Older and unlicensed drivers were more likely to take risks while driving. This risk decreased among the more educated, current smokers, and those who are physically active. Up to 94.9% and 98.5% of respondents reported not wearing a seat belt in the front and the back passenger seats, respectively.

Discussion: The high burden of road traffic injuries in the Kingdom is not surprising given our findings. Our study calls for aggressive monitoring and enforcement of traffic laws. Awareness and proper education for drivers and their families should be developed jointly by the Ministries of Health, Interior Affairs, and Education and provided through their channels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15389588.2014.990090DOI Listing
July 2015

Obesity and associated factors--Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013.

Prev Chronic Dis 2014 Oct 9;11:E174. Epub 2014 Oct 9.

Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Assadah, Al Murabba Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Introduction: Data on obesity from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) are nonexistent, making it impossible to determine whether the efforts of the Saudi Ministry of Health are having an effect on obesity trends. To determine obesity prevalence and associated factors in the KSA, we conducted a national survey on chronic diseases and their risk factors.

Methods: We interviewed 10,735 Saudis aged 15 years or older (51.1% women) through a multistage survey. Data on sociodemographic characteristics, health-related habits and behaviors, diet, physical activity, chronic diseases, access to and use of health care, and anthropometric measurements were collected through computer-assisted personal interviews. We first compared sociodemographic factors and body mass index between men and women. Next, we conducted a sex-specific analysis for obesity and its associated factors using backward elimination multivariate logistic regression models. We used SAS 9.3 for the statistical analyses and to account for the complex sampling design.

Results: Of the 10,735 participants evaluated, 28.7% were obese (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m(2)). Prevalence of obesity was higher among women (33.5% vs 24.1%). Among men, obesity was associated with marital status, diet, physical activity, diagnoses of diabetes and hypercholesterolemia, and hypertension. Among women, obesity was associated with marital status, education, history of chronic conditions, and hypertension.

Conclusion: Obesity remains strongly associated with diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertension in the KSA, although the epidemic's characteristics differ between men and women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd11.140236DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4193060PMC
October 2014

Status of the diabetes epidemic in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013.

Int J Public Health 2014 Dec 8;59(6):1011-21. Epub 2014 Oct 8.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, 2301 Fifth Ave., Suite 600, Seattle, WA, 98121, USA,

Objectives: In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), current data on diabetes are lacking, and a rise of the epidemic is feared, given the epidemiologic transition in the country. To inform public health authorities on the current status of the diabetes epidemic, we analyzed data from the Saudi Health Interview Survey (SHIS).

Methods: Saudi Health Interview Survey is a cross-sectional national multistage survey of individuals aged 15 years or older. A total of 10,735 participants completed a health questionnaire and were invited to the local health clinics for biomedical exams.

Results: 1,745,532 (13.4 %) Saudis aged 15 years or older have diabetes. Among those, 57.8, 20.2, 16.6, and 5.4 % are undiagnosed, treated uncontrolled, treated controlled, and untreated, respectively. Males, older individuals, and those who were previously diagnosed with hypertension or hypercholesterolemia were more likely to be diabetic.

Conclusions: Our findings call for increased awareness of pre-diabetes, diabetes, and undiagnosed diabetes in KSA. Combatting diabetes and other non-communicable diseases should be the task of the Ministry of Health and other ministries as well, to offer a comprehensive socio-cultural approach to fighting this epidemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00038-014-0612-4DOI Listing
December 2014

Hypercholesterolemia and its associated risk factors-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013.

Ann Epidemiol 2014 Nov 20;24(11):801-8. Epub 2014 Aug 20.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle. Electronic address:

Purpose: To assess the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and its associated factors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Methods: A national multistage representative sample of Saudis aged 15 years or older was surveyed through face-to-face interviews. Data on sociodemographics, 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: 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 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to prevent and avoid disease progression toward more serious stages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2014.08.001DOI Listing
November 2014

Hypertension and its associated risk factors in the kingdom of saudi arabia, 2013: a national survey.

Int J Hypertens 2014 6;2014:564679. Epub 2014 Aug 6.

Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Assadah, Al Murabba, Riyadh 12613, Saudi Arabia.

Current data on hypertension in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are lacking. We conducted a national survey to inform decision-makers on the current magnitude of the epidemic. We measured systolic and diastolic blood pressure of 10,735 Saudis aged 15 years or older and interviewed them through a national multistage survey. We used multivariate logistic regressions to describe sociodemographic characteristics and risk factors of hypertensive, borderline hypertensive, and undiagnosed hypertensive Saudis. We found that 15.2% and 40.6% of Saudis were hypertensive or borderline hypertensive, respectively. Risk of hypertension increased among men, with age, obesity, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia. 57.8% of hypertensive Saudis were undiagnosed. These were more likely to be male, older, and diagnosed with diabetes. Among participants diagnosed with hypertension, 78.9% reported taking medication for their condition. About 45% of participants on medication for hypertension had their blood pressure controlled. The prevalence of hypertension and borderline hypertension is very high in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, control of hypertension is poor. With the majority of hypertensive Saudis being unaware of their condition, a national plan is needed to increase utilization of freely available screening, preventive, and medical services.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/564679DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4142152PMC
August 2014