Publications by authors named "Mohammed Al-Thani"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Dromedary camels as a natural source of neutralizing nanobodies against SARS-CoV-2.

JCI Insight 2021 03 8;6(5). Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Genetic Intelligence Laboratory, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar.

The development of prophylactic and therapeutic agents for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a current global health priority. Here, we investigated the presence of cross-neutralizing antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in dromedary camels that were Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) seropositive but MERS-CoV free. The tested 229 dromedaries had anti-MERS-CoV camel antibodies with variable cross-reactivity patterns against SARS-CoV-2 proteins, including the S trimer and M, N, and E proteins. Using SARS-CoV-2 competitive immunofluorescence immunoassays and pseudovirus neutralization assays, we found medium-to-high titers of cross-neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in these animals. Through linear B cell epitope mapping using phage immunoprecipitation sequencing and a SARS-CoV-2 peptide/proteome microarray, we identified a large repertoire of Betacoronavirus cross-reactive antibody specificities in these dromedaries and demonstrated that the SARS-CoV-2-specific VHH antibody repertoire is qualitatively diverse. This analysis revealed not only several SARS-CoV-2 epitopes that are highly immunogenic in humans, including a neutralizing epitope, but also epitopes exclusively targeted by camel antibodies. The identified SARS-CoV-2 cross-neutralizing camel antibodies are not proposed as a potential treatment for COVID-19. Rather, their presence in nonimmunized camels supports the development of SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune camels, which could be a prominent source of therapeutic agents for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.145785DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8021111PMC
March 2021

The effect of vitamin D supplementation on the glycemic control of pre-diabetic Qatari patients in a randomized control trial.

BMC Nutr 2019 10;5:46. Epub 2019 Oct 10.

2Biomedical Research Department, Ministry of Public Health, P.O. Box 42, Al Khaleej Str, Al Rumaila, Doha, Qatar.

Background: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with indicators of pre-diabetes including, insulin resistance, β-cell dysfunction and elevated plasma glucose with controversial findings from current trials. This study aims to investigate the long-term effect of vitamin D on glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in pre-diabetic and highly vitamin-deficient subjects.

Methods: One hundred thirty-two participants were randomized to 30,000 IU vitamin D weekly for 6 months. Participants underwent oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at 3-month intervals to determine the change in plasma glucose concentration at 2 h after 75 g OGTT (2hPCG). Secondary measurements included glycated hemoglobin, fasting plasma glucose and insulin, post-prandial insulin, indices of insulin sensitivity (HOMA-IR, Matsuda Index), β-cell function (HOMA-β, glucose and insulin area under the curve (AUC), disposition and insulinogenic indices), and lipid profile.

Results: A total of 57 (vitamin D) and 75 (placebo) subjects completed the study. Mean baseline serum 25(OH) D levels were 17.0 ng/ml and 14.9 ng/ml for placebo and vitamin D group, respectively. No significant differences were observed for 2hPC glucose or insulin sensitivity indices between groups. HOMA-β significantly decreased in the vitamin D group, while area under curve for glucose and insulin showed a significant reduction in β-cell function in both groups. Additionally, HOMA-β was found to be significantly different between control and treatment group and significance persisted after adjusting for confounding factors.

Conclusion: Vitamin D supplementation in a pre-diabetic and severely vitamin-deficient population had no effect on glucose tolerance or insulin sensitivity. The observed reduction in β-cell function in both placebo and vitamin D groups could be attributed to factors other than supplementation.

Trial Registration: NCT02098980, 28/03/2014 (www.clinicaltrials.gov).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40795-019-0311-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7050821PMC
October 2019

Demographics and Epidemiology of Hepatitis B in the State of Qatar: A Five-Year Surveillance-Based Incidence Study.

Pathogens 2019 May 21;8(2). Epub 2019 May 21.

Biomedical Research Center, Qatar University, Doha 2713, Qatar.

: Expatriates represent >80% of Qatar's population, mostly arriving from countries in Africa and Asia that are endemic with many diseases. This increases the risk for introducing new pathogens into the country and provides a platform for maintenance of endemic pathogen circulation. Here, we report on the incidence and epidemiological characteristics of hepatitis B in Qatar between 2010 and 2014. : We performed a retrospective epidemiological data analysis using the data available at the surveillance system of the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) in Qatar. Data were collected from distinctive public and private incorporates around the nation. Reported cases of hepatitis B patients represent those who met the stringent case definition as per World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and eventually reported to MOPH. : The annual incidence rates of hepatitis B cases were 30.0, 34.2, 30.5, 39.4, and 19.8 per 100,000 population in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, respectively. There was no specific trend or seasonality for the reported cases. The incidence rates were higher in females compared to males between 2010 and 2012, but similar in 2013 and 2014. The highest incidence rates were reported among individuals between 25 and 34 years of age. No cases were reported in children younger than five years in 2013 and 2014. Rates of hepatitis B cases declined dramatically in 2014, in both Qataris and non-Qataris, as compared to the previous years. : Our results indicate a dramatic decline of hepatitis B cases in Qatar but mandate improved surveillance and vaccination efforts in expatriates in the nation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens8020068DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6630982PMC
May 2019

Trends in the leading causes of childhood mortality from 2004 to 2016 in Qatar.

Cent Asian J Glob Health 2018 1;7(1):334. Epub 2018 Nov 1.

Ministry of Public Health, State of Qatar.

Introduction: Childhood mortality is an important health indicator that reflects the overall health status of a population. Despite the decrease in global childhood mortality rates over the past decades, it still remains an important public health issue in Qatar.

Methods: The data from 2004-2016 were extracted from the Qatar Ministry of Public Health Birth and Death Database. International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) was used for coding the causes of death. The childhood mortality rate was defined as the probability of a child dying between the first and the fifth birthday, expressed as the number of deaths per 1,000 children surviving to 12 months of age. The sex ratio was calculated by dividing the mortality rate of males by that of females. Mann-Kendall trend test was performed to examine time trends. Relative risks were calculated to examine differences by nationality (Qatari and non-Qatari) and sex.

Results: A significant decrease in mortality rate of children aged one to five was observed from 1.76 to 1.05 per 1000 children between 2004 and 2016 (Kendall tau=-0.6, p=0.004). Three prominent causes of mortality were motor vehicle accidents, congenital malformations of the circulatory system, and accidental drowning/submersion. A statistically non-significant decrease in childhood mortality from motor vehicle accidents was oberved for all nationalities (total (Kendall tau=-0.03), Qatari (Kendall tau=-0.14), and non-Qatari (Kendall tau=-0.12)). A significant decrease was seen for total accidental drowning and submersion (Kendall tau=-0.54, p=0.012), while no statistically significant decrease was seen for total congenital malformations of the circulatory system (Kendall tau=-0.36, NS). The Qatari population did have a significant decrease in childhood mortality due to congenital malformations of the circulatory system (Kendall tau=-0.67, p=0.003) and accidental drowning and submersion (Kendall tau=-0.55, p=0.016).

Conclusion: The study is a first attempt to evaluate childhood mortality statistics from Qatar and could be useful in supporting Qatar's ongoing national health strategy programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5195/cajgh.2018.334DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6393052PMC
November 2018

Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice Regarding Zika Among Travelers to Brazil: Qatar's Airport Study 2017.

Cureus 2018 Sep 10;10(9):e3280. Epub 2018 Sep 10.

Epidemiology and Public Health, Ministry of Public Health, Doha, QAT.

Background The Zika virus has become an international health issue and poses a systematic risk for a growing number of travelers. Qatar is no exception to this status, where its Hamad International Airport (HIA) has become an important hub for many travelers to and from affected countries. Thus, it is a national necessity to determine the knowledge, attitude, and practice of travelers' regarding this emerging disease in the State of Qatar. Methods This was a cross-sectional study that employed a self-administered questionnaire (n=100) and was conducted at Hamad International Airport. Descriptive and inferential statistical tests were applied to analyze the data using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) (IBM SPSS Statistics 21, IBM Corporation, Armonk, NY, USA, 2014). Results The majority of travelers (75%) reported hearing about the Zika disease prior to their current flight, mainly from the media (73%) and the internet (46%). The majority of participants (69%) knew about the vector-borne transmission and symptomatology of a Zika infection while more than half (54%) correctly identified effective methods to prevent infection. Regarding their attitude, less than two-thirds (58%) of the participants agreed that pregnant women must postpone their travel to any Zika-affected area. Regarding their practice, only a quarter of the sampled travelers (24%) sought pre-travel medical advice before going to Brazil. Comparing the knowledge score among different education levels, we found that high-school students scored significantly better than those with diplomas and bachelors, p=0.042 and p=0.012, respectively. Conclusion The survey findings revealed that the knowledge of Zika infection is low among travelers to Brazil. Thus, stronger efforts to educate travelers about Zika are recommended. It is also vital that travelers be encouraged to seek proper medical advice prior to travel.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.3280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6333323PMC
September 2018

Drivers of MERS-CoV Emergence in Qatar.

Viruses 2018 12 31;11(1). Epub 2018 Dec 31.

Department of Viroscience, Erasmus University Medical Center, Wytemaweg 80, 3015 CN Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome corona virus) antibodies were detected in camels since 1983, but the first human case was only detected in 2012. This study sought to identify and quantify possible drivers for the MERS-CoV emergence and spillover to humans. A list of potential human, animal and environmental drivers for disease emergence were identified from literature. Trends in possible drivers were analyzed from national and international databases, and through structured interviews with experts in Qatar. The discovery and exploitation of oil and gas led to a 5-fold increase in Qatar GDP coupled with a 7-fold population growth in the past 30 years. The lifestyle gradually transformed from Bedouin life to urban sedentary life, along with a sharp increase in obesity and other comorbidities. Owing to substantial governmental support, camel husbandry and competitions flourished, exacerbating the already rapidly occurring desertification that forced banning of free grazing in 2005. Consequently, camels were housed in compact barns alongside their workers. The transition in husbandry leading to high density camel farming along with increased exposure to humans, combined with the increase of camel movement for the racing and breeding industry, have led to a convergence of factors driving spillover of MERS-CoV from camels to humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v11010022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6356962PMC
December 2018

Assessment of hepatitis B immunization programme among school students in Qatar.

East Mediterr Health J 2018 Oct 10;24(8):736-744. Epub 2018 Oct 10.

Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.

Background: In 2010, Qatar adopted the target of reducing hepatitis B prevalence to < 1% in children by 2015. The World Health Organization Region for the Eastern Mediterranean is identified with intermediate hepatitis B virus (HBV) endemicity, ranging from 2% to 7%. It is estimated that 4.3 million individuals are living with HBV infection in the Region.

Aims: This study was conducted to assess hepatitis B seroprevalence in children, hepatitis B vaccination coverage, potential exposure to risk factors, and knowledge among parents/guardians about hepatitis B infection.

Methods: We carried out this cross-sectional study in Qatar during the academic year 2015/16. Multistage cluster sampling was used to select a nationally representative sample of 2735 grade 1 school students aged ≥ 5 years. Blood was collected by finger prick and tested using the point-of-care test/rapid test. A self-administered, precoded questionnaire was used to assess parent/guardian knowledge about HBV and collect information on the child's HBV vaccination coverage.

Results: All blood samples were HBsAg negative. Qataris had a vaccination card and were totally vaccinated but 17.7% of non-Qataris did not hold a vaccination card and most parents/guardians were not aware of the vaccination status of their children. Children were exposed to various hepatitis B risk practices. Knowledge about hepatitis B among parents/ guardians was low.

Conclusions: Qatar has averted the hepatitis B threat and maintained high vaccination coverage for children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.26719/2018.24.8.736DOI Listing
October 2018

Epidemiology of Malaria in the State of Qatar, 2008-2015.

Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis 2018 1;10(1):e2018050. Epub 2018 Sep 1.

Ministry of Public Health, Doha, Qatar.

Background And Objectives: Imported malaria poses a serious public health problem in Qatar because its population is "naïve" to such infection; where local transmission might lead to serious, life-threatening infection and might even trigger epidemics.

Methods: This study is a retrospective review of the imported malaria cases in Qatar reported by the malaria surveillance program at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), during the period between January 2008 and December 2015. All cases were imported and underwent parasitological confirmation through microscopy.

Results: A total of 4092 malaria cases were reported during 2008-2015 in Qatar. The demographic features of the imported cases show that the majority of cases were males (93%), non-Qatari (99.6%), and aged 15 to 44 years (82.1%). Moreover, was found to be the main etiologic agent accounting for more than three-quarters (78.7%) of the imported cases. In addition, almost a third (33.1%) of the cases were reported during the months of July, August, and September.

Conclusions: Imported malaria in Qatar has witnessed an increase during the past seven years, despite a long period of constant reduction; where the people most affected were adult male migrants from endemic countries. Many challenges need to be overcome to prevent the reintroduction of malaria into the country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4084/MJHID.2018.050DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6131099PMC
September 2018

Evaluation of the Completeness and Timeliness of National Malaria Surveillance System in Qatar, 2016.

Cureus 2018 Jun 21;10(6):e2851. Epub 2018 Jun 21.

Health Protection and Communicable Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, Doha, QAT.

Background The high influx of migrant workers from malaria-endemic countries along with the presence of a malaria vector in Qatar has raised the alarm of the possible reintroduction of local transmission. Meanwhile, the Qatar Malaria Surveillance System aims to detect any local malaria transmission as well as to monitor trends in imported cases. Aim Evaluating the attributes of the Malaria Surveillance System in Qatar will help identify any gaps necessitating rectification. Method The completeness and timeliness of the malaria surveillance system were determined. The direct method was used to determine completeness. Timeliness was evaluated by calculating the time lag between the onset of disease and notification receipt by the surveillance team (T) or diagnosis (T1) and between the diagnosis and receipt of notification by the surveillance team (T2). Results The overall external completeness of Malaria surveillance system was yielded at 47% (219/493). The most frequently reported data fields were found to be age, gender, and nationality with a percentage of 99% or more. However, the least reported data components were found to be lab results, types of samples, sample collection, and travel destinations with percentages of 59%, 58%, 56%, and 41%, respectively.The overall median time lags was six days for T, four days for T1, and two days for T2. Conclusion Our study has identified several merits and areas of improvement in the National Malaria Surveillance System in Qatar. The attributes of evaluation, completeness and timeliness, need more quality improvement. Evaluation of other surveillance system attributes is highly recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.2851DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6104895PMC
June 2018

Adherence to the Qatar dietary guidelines: a cross-sectional study of the gaps, determinants and association with cardiometabolic risk amongst adults.

BMC Public Health 2018 04 16;18(1):503. Epub 2018 Apr 16.

Nutrition and Food Sciences Department, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut, P.O. BOX 11-0.236 Riad El Solh, Beirut, 11072020, Lebanon.

Background: The Qatar Dietary Guidelines (QDGs) were developed as part of the national strategy to prevent chronic diseases. This study aims at characterizing gaps between the QDGs and usual dietary and lifestyle patterns in Qatar, identifying demographic and socioeconomic determinants of adherence to the QDGs and investigating the association between adherence and cardiometabolic risk.

Methods: This study is based on the Qatar National STEPwise cross-sectional survey which was conducted on a nationally representative sample of Qatari adults, aged 18 to 64 years (n = 1109). Data collection included socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyle factors, anthropometric (weight, height and waist circumference (WC)), and blood pressure measurements. The dietary intake of participants was evaluated using a non-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Biochemical assessment was performed to measure the fasting levels of blood sugar, triglycerides (TG) and HDL cholesterol. The metabolic syndrome (MetS) was defined as the presence of three or more cardiometabolic risk factors. To examine adherence to the guidelines, each specifc recommendation was matched to corresponding data drawn from the survey. To investigate the association of sociodemographic, lifestyle and cardiometabolic characteristics with adherence to the QDGs, an adherence score was calculated.

Results: More than 83% of adults did not meet the recommendations for vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and high fibre intakes, 70% were overweight or obese, 50-72% reported frequent consumption of sweetened beverages and sweets, and 47% reported frequent consumption of fast foods. Younger adults, the unemployed, the least educated and those not married had lower adherence to the QDGs. Adherence was inversely associated with elevated WC (OR: 0.88, 95% CI:0.82-0.95) and the MetS (OR:0.84,95% CI:0.74-0.96).

Conclusions: Building on the identified gaps and vulnerable population groups, the study findings should provide a road map for the prioritization of interventions and the development of culture- specific programs aiming at promoting adherence to dietary guidelines in Qatar, while serving as a model to other countries in the region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5400-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5902923PMC
April 2018

An Overview of Infant Mortality Trends in Qatar from 2004 to 2014.

Cureus 2017 Sep 9;9(9):e1669. Epub 2017 Sep 9.

Ministry of Public Health, State of Qatar.

Background Infant mortality is an important health indicator that estimates population well-being. Infant mortality has declined globally but is still a major public health challenge. This article provides the characteristics, causes, burden, and trends of infant mortality in Qatar. Methods Frequencies, percentages, and rates were calculated using data from birth-death registries over 2004-2014 to describe infant mortality by nationality, gender, and age group. We calculated the relative risks of the top causes of infant mortality among subgroups according to the 10 Revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10, Version 2016). Results During 2004-2014, 204,224 live births and 1,505 infant deaths were recorded. The infant mortality rate (IMR) averaged 7.4/1000 live births (males 8.1, females 6.6, non-Qataris 7.7, and Qataris 6.8). IMR declined 20% from 2004 to 2014. The decline in IMR was significant for the overall population of infants (p=0.006), male infants (p=0.04), females (p=0.006), and for non-Qatari males (p=0.007) and non-Qatari females (p=0.007). The leading causes of infant mortality were congenital malformations (all types) (34.5%), low birth weight (LBW) (27%), and respiratory distress of newborns (2.8%). Male infants had a higher risk of mortality than female infants due to a congenital malformation of lungs (p=0.02), other congenital malformations, not elsewhere classified (p=0.01), and cardiovascular disorders (p=0.05). Conclusion The study shows that infant mortality among male infants is high due to the top infant mortality-related disorders, and male infants have a higher risk of mortality than female infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.1669DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5679762PMC
September 2017

Improving Influenza Vaccination Rate among Primary Healthcare Workers in Qatar.

Vaccines (Basel) 2017 Oct 10;5(4). Epub 2017 Oct 10.

Biomedical Research Center, Qatar University, Doha 2713, Qatar.

The purpose of this study was to improve influenza vaccination, and determine factors influencing vaccine declination among health care workers (HCW) in Qatar. We launched an influenza vaccination campaign to vaccinate around 4700 HCW in 22 Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) centers in Qatar between 1st and 15th of November, 2015. Our target was to vaccinate 60% of all HCW. Vaccine was offered free of charge at all centers, and information about the campaign and the importance of influenza vaccination was provided to employees through direct communication, emails, and social media networks. Staff were reported as vaccinated or non-vaccinated using a declination form that included their occupation, place of work and reasons for declining the vaccine. Survey responses were summarized as proportional outcomes. We exceeded our goal, and vaccinated 77% of the target population. Only 9% declined to take the vaccine, and the remaining 14% were either on leave or had already been vaccinated. Vaccine uptake was highest among aides (98.1%), followed by technicians (95.2%), and was lowest amongst pharmacists (73.2%), preceded by physicians (84%). Of those that declined the vaccine, 34% provided no reason, 18% declined it due to behavioral issues, and 21% declined it due to medical reasons. Uptake of influenza vaccine significantly increased during the 2015 immunization campaign. This is attributed to good planning, preparation, a high level of communication, and providing awareness and training to HCW with proper supervision and monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vaccines5040036DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748603PMC
October 2017

An Overview of Food Patterns and Diet Quality in Qatar: Findings from the National Household Income Expenditure Survey.

Cureus 2017 May 15;9(5):e1249. Epub 2017 May 15.

Ministry of Public Health, State of Qatar.

Introduction: Availability of accurate data pertaining to a population's dietary patterns and associated health outcomes is critical for proper development and implementation of related policies. This article is a first attempt to share the food patterns, amounts and diet quality among households (HH) in Qatar.

Methods: Data from the 2012-2013 Qatar National Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) was used. This cross-sectional survey included 3723 HH (1826 Qatari HH and 1897 non-Qatari HH). Dietary data on monthly amounts food items available at HH according to the nationality was used. The food items were expressed in terms of grams per capita per day and aggregated into groups to examine the food patterns, energy, and adequacy.

Results: The overall average amount of purchased food at HH in Qatar was 1885 g/capita/day. Qatari HH purchased more food (2118 g/capita/day) versus non-Qataris (1373 g/capita/day); however, the percentages of the amounts purchased by food types were similar among both nationalities. Average daily energy (kcal) per capita was almost double among Qatari HH (4275 kcal) vs. non-Qatari HH (2424 kcal). The food items under subsidy program for Qatari citizens provided 1753 kcal/capita/day and accounted for 41% of total daily energy. Proteins (29.2), fats (39.2), sodium (3.3), and vitamin C (32.5) had higher than recommended levels of nutrient density (grams per 1000 kcal). Calcium (227), vitamin A (302.3), fiber (2.0), and carbohydrates (132.6) had lower than recommended levels of nutrient energy density (g/1000 kcal).

Conclusions: The study predicts unhealthy dietary habits among HH in Qatar and provides useful information for policy makers and healthcare community.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.1249DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5472397PMC
May 2017

Situation of Diabetes and Related Factors Among Qatari Adults: Findings From a Community-Based Survey.

JMIR Diabetes 2017 May 3;2(1):e7. Epub 2017 May 3.

Ministry of Public Health, Doha, Qatar.

Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a prominent public health problem in Qatar with one of the highest prevalence in the Gulf Cooperation Council region. Obesity continues to be a challenging public health problem in Qatar along with other social determinants contributing to the high DM prevalence.

Objective: This paper examines the data from Qatar National STEPS survey (2012) to determine diabetes prevalence among Qatari adults and identify the effect of both generalized and central obesity on it. The article also describes the contribution of selected social and demographic factors on diabetes prevalence in Qatar.

Methods: Secondary data analysis of 1471 Qatari adults (18-64 years) from STEP 3 component of the 2012 STEPS Survey was executed. Multivariate binary logistic regression analysis was carried out to assess the role of social and biomedical factors in the prevalence of DM.

Results: Among participants, 18.97% (279/1471) of the study population had DM. Both generalized (OR 1.8, P=.005) and central obesity (OR 1.9, P<.001) were significantly associated with DM when adjusted for various respondent characteristics. Older age (P<.001), marital status of ever married (P<.001), and lower educational status (P=.01) were associated with DM. Hypertension (OR 1.5, P=.003 total cholesterol level ≥190 mg/dL (OR 2.2, P<.001) and triglyceride level ≥150 mg/dL (OR 3.6, P<.001) were significantly associated with DM among the study participants. Although family history of DM was significantly associated with development of DM (OR 1.7, P=.01), parental consanguinity was not associated with DM (OR 0.96, P=.80).

Conclusions: The DM prevalence in Qatar seems to be highly associated with obesity; however, various additional population characteristics and comorbidity factors should also require attention and should be incorporated while developing intervention strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/diabetes.7535DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6238852PMC
May 2017

A 'High Risk' Lifestyle Pattern Is Associated with Metabolic Syndrome among Qatari Women of Reproductive Age: A Cross-Sectional National Study.

Int J Mol Sci 2016 Jun 2;17(6). Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Nutrition and Food Sciences Department, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut, P.O. BOX 11-0.236, Riad El Solh, 11072020 Beirut, Lebanon.

This study investigated the effect of lifestyle patterns, as a combination of diet, physical activity and smoking, on Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) among Qatari women of childbearing age (n = 418), a population group particularly vulnerable to the health sequela of this syndrome. Using data from the National WHO STEPwise survey conducted in Qatar in 2012, Principal Component Factor Analysis was performed to derive lifestyle patterns with survey variables related to the frequency of consumption of 13 foods/food groups, physical activity levels, and smoking status. MetS was diagnosed using ATPIII criteria. Three lifestyle patterns were identified: 'High Risk' pattern, characterized by intakes of fast foods, sweets and sugar sweetened beverages, in addition to lower levels of physical activity and higher smoking prevalence; 'Prudent' pattern, driven mainly by higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains; and 'Traditional' pattern which included beans, meat, dairy products, and a low prevalence of smoking. Among these three lifestyle patterns, only the 'High Risk' was associated with MetS, whereby subjects belonging to the third tertile of this pattern's score had 2.5 times the odds of MetS compared to those belonging to the first tertile. The findings of this study demonstrated the synergy among high risk behaviors among Qatari women in increasing the odds of MetS; the latter being a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms17060698DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4926323PMC
June 2016

Seat belt and mobile phone use among vehicle drivers in the city of Doha, Qatar: an observational study.

BMC Public Health 2015 Sep 22;15:937. Epub 2015 Sep 22.

Division of Global and Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. Qatar Foundation, Education City, P.O. Box: 24144, Doha, Qatar.

Background: In Qatar traffic injuries and fatalities are of serious concern. Mobile phone use whilst driving has been associated with increased risk of vehicular collisions and injuries. Seat belt use has been demonstrated to save lives and reduce the severity of road traffic injuries. Whereas previously published studies may have looked at all front passengers, this study aims to obtain reliable estimates of the prevalence of seat belt and mobile phone use among vehicle drivers in the city of Doha, Qatar. Additionally, we aim to investigate the association of these behaviors with other variables namely gender, time of the day and type of vehicle.

Methods: An observational study on 2,011 vehicles was conducted in 2013. Data were collected at ten sites within Doha city over a two-week period. Two trained observers surveyed each car and recorded observations on a data collection form adapted from a form used in a 2012 Oklahoma observational study. Associations were assessed using the Chi-squared test or Fisher's exact test. A p-value of .05 or less was considered statistically significant.

Results: Overall, 1,463 (72.7 %) drivers were found using a seat belt (95 % CI: 70.8-74.7 %) and 150 (7.5 %) their mobile phones (95 % CI: 6.3-8.6 %) during the observation period. Mobile phone use was significantly associated with not using a seat belt and driving a sport utility vehicle. Significantly lower rates of seat belt use were observed in the early morning and late afternoon. No gender differences were observed.

Discussion: Seatbelt use in Doha was found to be similar to countries in the region but lower than those in western countries. Also, studies from other high-income locations, reported lower rates of mobile phone use while driving than in Doha.

Conclusions: Despite road traffic crashes being one of the leading causes of death in Qatar, three out of 10 drivers in Doha, Qatar, do not use a seat belt and about one in 12 use a mobile phone while driving. More efforts, in the form of awareness campaigns and increased law enforcement, are needed to improve compliance with laws requiring seat belt use and prohibiting mobile phone use while driving.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-015-2283-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4578805PMC
September 2015

Lifestyle Patterns Are Associated with Elevated Blood Pressure among Qatari Women of Reproductive Age: A Cross-Sectional National Study.

Nutrients 2015 Sep 9;7(9):7593-615. Epub 2015 Sep 9.

Nutrition and Food Sciences Department, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut, P. O. Box 11-0.236 Riad El Solh, 11072020 Beirut, Lebanon.

Women of childbearing age are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of elevated blood pressure (BP), with dietary and lifestyle habits being increasingly recognized as important modifiable environmental risk factors for this condition. Using data from the National STEPwise survey conducted in Qatar in year 2012, we aimed to examine lifestyle patterns and their association with elevated BP among Qatari women of childbearing age (18-45 years). Socio-demographic, lifestyle, dietary, anthropometric and BP data were used (n = 747). Principal component factor analysis was applied to identify the patterns using the frequency of consumption of 13 foods/food groups, physical activity level, and smoking status. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate the association of the identified lifestyle patterns with elevated BP and to examine the socio-demographic correlates of these patterns. Three lifestyle patterns were identified: a "healthy" pattern characterized by intake of fruits, natural juices, and vegetables; a "fast food & smoking" pattern characterized by fast foods, sweetened beverages, and sweets, in addition to smoking; and a "traditional sedentary" pattern which consisted of refined grains, dairy products, and meat in addition to low physical activity. The fast food & smoking and the traditional & sedentary patterns were associated with an approximately 2-fold increase in the risk of elevated BP in the study population. The findings of this study highlight the synergistic effect that diet, smoking and physical inactivity may have on the risk of elevated BP among Qatari women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu7095355DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4586550PMC
September 2015

Obesity susceptibility loci in Qataris, a highly consanguineous Arabian population.

J Transl Med 2015 Apr 13;13:119. Epub 2015 Apr 13.

Department of Genetic Medicine, Laboratory of Genetic Medicine & Immunology, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Al Luqta Street, Qatar Foundation, Education City, Doha, Qatar, PO 24144.

Objectives: In Qataris, a population characterized by a small size and a high rate of consanguinity, between two-thirds to three-quarters of adults are overweight or obese. We investigated the relevance of 23 obesity-related loci in the Qatari population.

Methods: Eight-hundred-four individuals assessed to be third generation Qataris were included in the study and assigned to 3 groups according to their body mass index (BMI): 190 lean (BMI < 25 kg/m(2)); 131 overweight (25 kg/m(2) ≤ BMI < 30 kg/m(2)) and 483 obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m(2)). Genomic DNA was isolated from peripheral blood and genotyped by TaqMan.

Results: Two loci significantly associated with obesity in Qataris: the TFAP2B variation (rs987237) (A allele versus G allele: chi-square = 10.3; P = 0.0013) and GNPDA2 variation (rs10938397) (A allele versus G allele: chi-square = 6.15; P = 0.013). The TFAP2B GG genotype negatively associated with obesity (OR = 0.21; P = 0.0031). Conversely, the GNDPA2 GG homozygous genotype associated with higher risk of obesity in subjects of age < 32 years (P = 0.0358).

Conclusion: We showed a different genetic profile associated with obesity in the Qatari population compared to Western populations. Studying the genetic background of Qataris is of primary importance as the etiology of a given disease might be population-specific.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-015-0459-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4422146PMC
April 2015

Motor vehicle injuries in Qatar: time trends in a rapidly developing Middle Eastern nation.

Inj Prev 2012 Apr 12;18(2):130-2. Epub 2011 Oct 12.

Department of Global and Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, Doha, Qatar.

Despite their wealth and modern road systems, traffic injury rates in Middle Eastern countries are generally higher than those in Western countries. The authors examined traffic injuries in Qatar during 2000-2010, a period of rapid population growth, focusing on the impact of speed control cameras installed in 2007 on overall injury rates and mortality. During the period 2000-2006, prior to camera installation, the mean (SD) vehicular injury death rate per 100,000 was 19.9±4.1. From 2007 to 2010, the mean (SD) vehicular death rates were significantly lower: 14.7±1.5 (p=0.028). Non-fatal severe injury rates also declined, but mild injury rates increased, perhaps because of increased traffic congestion and improved notification. It is possible that speed cameras decreased speeding enough to affect the death rate, without affecting overall injury rates. These data suggest that in a rapidly growing Middle Eastern country, photo enforcement (speed) cameras can be an important component of traffic control, but other measures will be required for maximum impact.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/injuryprev-2011-040147DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3311870PMC
April 2012

Medical education and research environment in Qatar: a new epoch for translational research in the Middle East.

J Transl Med 2011 Jan 27;9:16. Epub 2011 Jan 27.

Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Education City, P,O, Box 24144, Doha, Qatar.

Recent advances in medical technology and key discoveries in biomedical research have the potential to improve human health in an unprecedented fashion. As a result, many of the Arab Gulf countries, particularly Qatar are devoting increasing resources toward establishing centers of excellence in biomedical research. However, there are challenges that must be overcome. The low profile of private medical institutions and their negligible endowments in the region are examples of such challenges. Business-type government controlled universities are not the solution for overcoming the challenges facing higher education and research programs in the Middle East.During the last decade, Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development has attracted six branch campuses of American Institutions of higher learning to the Education City in Qatar, a 2500-acre area, which is rapidly becoming a model of integrating higher education and research in the region. Not-for profit, time-tested education institutions from abroad in public-private partnership with local organizations offer favorable conditions to build robust research programs in the region. Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) of Cornell University is an example such an institution. It is the first and only medical school in Qatar.WCMC-Q's interwoven education, research and public health based framework lays a sturdy foundation for developing and implementing translational medicine research programs of importance to the State of Qatar and Middle Eastern nations. This approach is yielding positive results. Discoveries from this program should influence public policy in a positive fashion toward reducing premature mortality and morbidity due to diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer, examples of health conditions commonly encountered in Qatar.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1479-5876-9-16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3038922PMC
January 2011