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Concept: Abdullah of Saudi Arabia


BACKGROUND: The role of vitamin D in breast cancer prevention is equivocal. Saudi Arabian women may be at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency because of a darker skin type and a greater likelihood of reduced ultraviolet B radiation exposure. Data regarding the vitamin D status of Saudi Arabian women and its relation to breast cancer risk are lacking. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this research was to evaluate the association between circulating concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and breast cancer risk in Saudi Arabian women. DESIGN: A case-control study was conducted among 120 breast cancer cases and 120 controls. The study population was drawn from patients admitted to King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from June to August 2009. Participants completed questionnaires on diet and medical history, and serum samples were collected from all women to measure circulating 25(OH)D concentrations. RESULTS: The participants had a mean age of 47.8 y and a mean body mass index (BMI; in kg/m(2)) of 30.0. Breast cancer cases had significantly lower (mean ± SD) serum concentrations of 25(OH)D (9.4 ± 6.4 ng/mL) than did controls (15.4 ± 12.3 ng/mL; P = 0.001). In comparison with those in the highest category of vitamin D status for this population (≥20 ng/mL), the adjusted ORs (95% CIs) for invasive breast cancer were 6.1 (2.4, 15.1) for women with a serum 25(OH)D concentration <10 ng/mL and 4.0 (1.6, 10.4) for women with a serum concentration of ≥10 to <20 ng/mL (P-trend = 0.0001). CONCLUSION: An inverse association exists between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and breast cancer risk in Saudi Arabian women. This trial was registered at as NCT01817231.

Concepts: Vitamin D, Cancer, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, Fahd of Saudi Arabia


Introduction The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection can cause transmission clusters and high mortality in hemodialysis facilities. We attempted to develop a risk-prediction model to assess the early risk of MERS-CoV infection in dialysis patients. Methods This two-center retrospective cohort study included 104 dialysis patients who were suspected of MERS-CoV infection and diagnosed with rRT-PCR between September 2012 and June 2016 at King Fahd General Hospital in Jeddah and King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh. We retrieved data on demographic, clinical, and radiological findings, and laboratory indices of each patient. Findings A risk-prediction model to assess early risk for MERS-CoV in dialysis patients has been developed. Independent predictors of MERS-CoV infection were identified, including chest pain (OR = 24.194; P = 0.011), leukopenia (OR = 6.080; P = 0.049), and elevated aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (OR = 11.179; P = 0.013). The adequacy of this prediction model was good (P = 0.728), with a high predictive utility (area under curve [AUC] = 76.99%; 95% CI: 67.05% to 86.38%). The prediction of the model had optimism-corrected bootstrap resampling AUC of 71.79%. The Youden index yielded a value of 0.439 or greater as the best cut-off for high risk of MERS infection. Discussion This risk-prediction model in dialysis patients appears to depend markedly on chest pain, leukopenia, and elevated AST. The model accurately predicts the high risk of MERS-CoV infection in dialysis patients. This could be clinically useful in applying timely intervention and control measures to prevent clusters of infections in dialysis facilities or other health care settings. The predictive utility of the model warrants further validation in external samples and prospective studies.

Concepts: Cohort study, Prediction, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Middle East, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Cairo, Fahd of Saudi Arabia


The Health Science Preparatory Program (HSPP) is a special program that aims to enhance the educational preparedness of students for participation in a health sciences career. Students spend their first university year in a combined extensive teaching program before they can be assigned to a particular health science specialty. It is thought that students enrolled in a highly competitive environment such as HSPP with a long list of potential stressors, including developmental, academic overload, language barriers and competition, are more disposed to stress and stress-related complications. This study aims to measure the level of academic stress and to determine its risk factors in students enrolled in HSPP-adapted local universities in Saudi Arabia. The study was conducted at two Saudi universities, King Saud University (KSU) and Imam Mohammad ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSU) with competition-based and non-competition-based HSPP learning models, respectively. Both universities adopt the HSPP system. The scale for assessing academic stress (SAAS) was used to assess students' perceived stress. A total of 290 students successfully completed the questionnaire (N=290), with a mean age of 18.66 years. Mean SAAS scores for KSU and IMSU students were 8.37 (SD = 4.641) and 7.97 (SD = 5.104), P=0.480, respectively. Only “satisfaction” and “associated social and health problems” have shown statistically significant correlation with university (P=0.000 and P=0.049, respectively). This study has found mean SAAS score for two local universities with competition-based versus non-competition-based HSPP learning models. Academic stress correlation with age, gender and universities was discussed, and valuable future work guidance was recommended.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Mecca, University, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, Fahd of Saudi Arabia


Recent data regarding first-stroke incidence in Saudi Arabia in general and in the Aseer region in particular are scarce and even lacking. The aim of this work was to study the first-time stroke incidence in the Aseer region, southwestern Saudi Arabia. All first-stroke patients admitted to all hospitals in the Aseer region over a one-year period (January through December 2016) were included. Stroke patients outside the Aseer region were excluded from the study. The incidence per 100,000 patients and the concomitant 95% CI (Confidence Intervals) were computed. The present study included 1249 first-time stroke patients and calculated an overall minimal incidence rate of hospitalized first-time stroke of 57.64 per 100,000 persons per year (95% CI: 57.57-57.70). A steady increase was noticed depending on the patients' age, reaching a figure of 851.81 (95% CI: 849.2-854.5) for those patients aged 70 years and more. Overall, the incidence rate for females (48.14; 95% CI: 48.04-48.24) was lower compared to males (65.52; 95% CI: 65.1-66.0). Taking into consideration the expected rise of the elderly because of the prominent medical services provided by the Saudi government, leading to a subsequent change in the horizontal and vertical age distribution structure of the population, an increase in the number of stroke patients is expected. It is suggested to establish a nationwide stroke surveillance system in the Kingdom, with the objective to report, analyze, and maintain an updated overview of the stroke status in Saudi Arabia.

Concepts: Hospital, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, United Arab Emirates, Gerontology, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Mutaween


Work-related carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) has been reported in different occupations, including laboratory technicians, so this study was carried out to determine the prevalence and the associated personal and ergonomic factors for CTS among laboratory technicians.Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among 279 laboratory technicians at King Fahd Hospital, Saudi Arabia, who filled in a self-administered questionnaire, including questions regarding their demographic criteria, occupational history, job tasks, workplace tools, ergonomic factors at work, and symptoms suggestive of CTS. Physical examinations and electrodiagnostic studies were carried out for those who had symptoms suggestive of CTS to confirm the diagnosis. Univariate and multivariate analysis were performed for both personal and physical factors in association with confirmed CTS among laboratory technicians.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Wrist, Carpal tunnel, Carpal tunnel syndrome, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, Fahd of Saudi Arabia


To determine the accuracy of the Broselow tape on estimating body weights of selected Saudi children. Methods: This is prospective study of children aged 7 days to 13 years who attended the Emergency Department of King Fahd Hospital of the University, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Saudi Arabia, from June 2015 to September 2015. Only children less than 34 kg were enrolled for the study and children with triage categories I and II were eliminated to avoid delay in providing appropriate treatment in these circumstances.  Results: The relationship between the actual and tape estimated body weights showed a correlation coefficient of 0.945 (p less than 0.001) for all children. When adjusting the correlation coefficient related to weight groups, the correlation coefficient was 0.911 (p less than 0.001) for children with body weights between 10 to 25 kg. Conclusion: The Broselow tape measurements do not provide satisfactory results for all children in the selected population, but do provide highly correlated measurements for those children with body weights between 10 and 25 kg.

Concepts: Hospital, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, Fahd of Saudi Arabia, Khalid of Saudi Arabia


The aim of this study is to investigate the variability of aerosol over The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. For this analysis, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Deep Blue (DB) Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) product from Terra and Aqua satellites for the years 2000-2013 is used. The product is validated using AERONET data from ground stations, which are situated at Solar Village Riyadh and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Jeddah. The results show that both Terra and Aqua satellites exhibit a tendency to show the spatial variation of AOD with Aqua being better than Terra to represent the ground based AOD measurements over the study region. The results also show that the eastern, central, and southern regions of the country have a high concentration of AOD during the study period. The validation results show the highest correlation coefficient between Aqua and KAUST data with a value of 0.79, whilst the Aqua and Solar Village based AOD indicates the lowest Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and Mean Absolute Error (MAE) values which are, 0.17 and 0.12 respectively. Furthermore, the Relative Mean Bias (RMB) based analysis show that the DB algorithm overestimates the AOD when using Terra and Solar Village data, while it underestimates the AOD when using Aqua with Solar Village and KAUST data. The RMB value for Aqua and Solar Village data indicates that the DB algorithm is close to normal in the study region.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Mecca, Root mean square, Mean squared error, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Jeddah, Makkah Province


The aim of this study was to evaluate the nonfatal drowning experience, risk factors, intrahospital assessment and postincidental outcomes for children admitted to King Fahd Hospital of the University, AlKhobar, Saudi Arabia, over a 10-year period.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Dammam, Fahd of Saudi Arabia, Khalid of Saudi Arabia


Purpose The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the impact of adopting the Six Sigma define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) approach in reducing patients fall rate in an Academic Medical Center, Saudi Arabia. Design/methodology/approach A prospective study design was adopted and this study was conducted at King Fahd Hospital of the University (KFHU) during the year 2014. Based on the historical data of the patients' falls reported at KFHU during the year 2013, the goal was fixed to reduce the falls rate from 7.18 to<3 (over 60 percent reduction) by the end of December 2014. This study was conducted through the five phases of "DMAIC" approach using various quality tools. Three time periods were identified, namely, pre-intervention phase; intervention phase; and post-intervention phase. Appropriate strategies were identified through the process of brainstorming and were implemented to study the potential causes leading to the occurrence of falls. Findings The pre-intervention falls rate was reported as 6.57 whereas the post-intervention falls rate was measured as 1.91 (demonstrating a 70.93 percent reduction) after the implementation of improvement strategies. The adherence rate toward the practice of carrying falls risk assessment and hourly rounding was observed to be high where 88 percent of nurses are regularly practicing it. A control plan was also executed to sustain the improvements obtained. Originality/value The Six Sigma "DMAIC" approach improves the processes related to the prevention of falls. A greater reduction in patients falls rate (over 70 percent) was observed after the implementation of the improvement strategy.

Concepts: Better, Improve, Saudi Arabia, Six Sigma, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, Fahd of Saudi Arabia


To determine the level of awareness of outpatients, their preferences regarding the appropriate time for discussions regarding do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order  in Saudi Arabia. Methods: This cross-sectional, self-administered survey was conducted at King Fahd Medical City, a tertiary care hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between December 2012 and January 2013. Demographic parameters of the participants were analyzed by frequency distribution, and the data on their responses by percentage analysis. Results: The survey participants constituted 307 randomly selected outpatients/caregivers presenting for outpatient care at primary and tertiary care centers, 70% were female. Three-fourths of the participants had heard of DNR order, of which 50% defined it accurately. Ninety percent preferred a discussion while ill, and 10% while healthy. More than 70% expressed willingness to share the decision with their spouses/family members. Almost one-third believed DNR orders were consistent with Islamic beliefs, almost as many believed they were inconsistent, and almost a third did not take either position. Almost all the participants showed a willingness to learn more about the order. Conclusion: A divided opinion exists regarding religious and ethical aspects of the issue among the participants. However, almost all the participants showed a willingness to learn more about the DNR order.

Concepts: Medicine, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Do not resuscitate, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, Fahd of Saudi Arabia