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Concept: Ha'il

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PURPOSE: Epilepsy is very common in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with a prevalence of 6.54 per 1000. The present study was conducted to investigate the level of public awareness, and the attitudes and knowledge regarding epilepsy in the Saudi population in Riyadh - capital city of Saudi Arabia. METHODS: A survey consisting of 19 questions pertaining to epilepsy awareness was distributed to Saudi citizens living in Riyadh older than 15 years of age in malls, supermarkets, health clubs, mosques, universities and schools. RESULTS: Of the 7078 respondents who completed the questionnaire, 6756 (95.5%) had heard about epilepsy, 3024 (42.7%) had witnessed what they believed to be a seizure and 5164 (73%) would allow their children to interact with an individual who had epilepsy. However, 5382 (76%) respondents would not want their children to marry an individual with epilepsy, 1004 (14.2%) believed that epilepsy was infectious and 574 (8.1%) believed that epilepsy was a type of mental illness. A total of 1509 (21.3%) respondents were not aware of a single potential cause of epilepsy, 3493 (50.6%) would not seek medical advice if one of their relatives had epilepsy, 2221 (31.4%) did not know how to deal with an individual experiencing an epileptic episode and 6554 (92.6%) did not know that surgery was a treatment option for individuals with epilepsy in Saudi Arabia. Of the 7078 respondents, 3237 (45.7%) would not abide by a physician’s advice not to operate a motor vehicle because of their illness, of whom 1631 (50.4%) cited problems with the public transportation system as a reason for disregarding the doctor’s advice. The effect of age and level of education were statistically significant on most of the study variables. CONCLUSION: The level of epilepsy awareness in the Saudi population needs improvement.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il, Dammam, Medina

28

 In spring 2014, a sudden rise in the number of notified MERS-Coronavirus infections occurred across Saudi Arabia with a focus in Jeddah. Hypotheses to explain the outbreak pattern include increased surveillance, increased zoonotic transmission, nosocomial transmission, changes in viral transmissibility, as well as diagnostic laboratory artifacts.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il, Dammam, Medina

28

Abstract Background: Saudi Arabia has a declining rate of breastfeeding and increasing levels of childhood asthma and atopic disease. In highly economically developed countries, breastfeeding of children at high risk of atopic disease reduces the likelihood of atopic dermatitis, wheezing associated with respiratory infections, and possibly asthma. This study investigated the prevalence of breastfeeding and its association with wheezing/asthma and atopic disease in 1-3-year-old children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study of children attending routine “well-baby” clinics in three Saudi State Hospitals in Riyadh. An interviewer administered a questionnaire to collect data on sociodemographics, breastfeeding, wheezing symptoms, asthma, and atopic disease. Results: In total, 622 children 1-3 years old were recruited. Of these, 75% of children were ever breastfed, and 36% of children were fully breastfed, with 20% of children being fully breastfed for ≥3 months. Increasing duration of full breastfeeding was associated with a reduced likelihood of maternal reporting of her child having “ever wheezed,” “wheezed' in the last 12 months,” and “ever having asthma,” with adjusted odds ratio for full breastfeeding ≥12 months versus never breastfed of 0.51 (95% confidence interval 0.29-0.90), 0.48 (0.26-0.88), and 0.46 (0.22-0.94), respectively. No associations were demonstrable between full or ever breastfeeding and atopic dermatitis/eczema, irrespective of family history of atopic disease. Conclusions: Although breastfeeding does not protect children from developing eczema in Riyadh, full breastfeeding is associated with reduced childhood wheezing and possibly asthma. Further efforts should be made to promote breastfeeding in Saudi Arabia.

Concepts: Asthma, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Atopy, Jeddah, Ha'il

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The management of giant prolactinomas remains a major challenge, despite dopamine agonists being the first line of treatment, owing to its efficacy to normalize prolactin levels and reduce tumor volume. The aim of this study is to characterize the therapeutic aspects, manifestations and outcomes of 16 cases of giant prolactinomas admitted at a single tertiary center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Concepts: Prolactin, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Mecca, Middle East, Prolactinoma, Jeddah, Ha'il

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Radon-222 has been measured in groundwater, dwellings, and atmosphere of an inhabited area adjacent to the granitic Aja heights of Hail province, Saudi Arabia. The measurements were carried out in the field using a RAD7 instrument. Twenty-eight water samples, collected from drilled wells scattered in the region, were analyzed. Radon-222 concentration ranged from 2.5-95 kBq m with an average value of about 30.3 kBq m. The higher values were found in wells drawing water from granitic aquifers. Indoor Rn was measured in 20 dwellings of rural areas in Hail city and other towns. Concentrations ranged from 12-125.6 Bq m, with an average value of 54.6 Bq m. Outdoor air Rn was measured at 16 sites, with values ranging from 6.2-13.3 Bq m, with an average value of 10.5 Bq m. The estimated average effective dose due to inhalation of Rn released from water was 0.08 mSv y. The estimated average annual effective dose due to indoor Rn was 1.35 mSv, which lies below the effective dose range (3-10 mSv) given as the recommended action level. Based on the average dose rate values, the excess lifetime cancer risk values were estimated as 69.8 × 10 due to indoor radon and 13.4 × 10 due to outdoor radon.

Concepts: Water, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, United Arab Emirates, Mecca, Ha'il, Ha'il Province

4

To investigate the prevalence and correlates of smartphone addiction among university students in Saudi Arabia.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il, Dammam, King Saud University

3

Research in Saudi Arabia has revealed a shocking level of insufficiently physically active adults, particularly women. The risk of sedentary behavior will likely increase as the number of women with office-based jobs increases. The aim of this study is to determine the level of sedentary behavior, and its associated factors, among Saudi women working office-based jobs in the city of Riyadh. A cross-sectional study of 420 Saudi female employees at 8 office-based worksites were measured to determine body mass index and were given a self-administered survey to evaluate their level of physical activity and sedentary behavior. Median sitting time on work days was 690 min per day (interquartile range, IQR 541-870), with nearly half accumulated during work hours, and 575 min per day (IQR 360-780) on non-work days. Predictors of work day sitting time were level of education, number of children, and working in the private sector. Number of children, whether they were single, and whether they lived in a small home were found to predict non-work day sitting time. This study identifies Saudi women in office-based jobs as a high-risk group for sedentary behavior. There is a need to promote physical activity at worksites and reduce prolonged sitting.

Concepts: Obesity, Interquartile range, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il

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Considering the high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other associated health problems among young people globally, it is important to identify sexual practices that could potentially compromise health. This study explored the sexual practices of young men in Riyadh city, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Materials and methodology A cross-sectional study among young, male students was conducted using a pre-tested, structured, self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive analysis and adjusted odds ratio (OR) were calculated.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Mecca, Sexually transmitted disease, Human sexual behavior, Jeddah, Ha'il

1

Approximately 28% to 35% of people aged 65 and over fall each year. The consequent injuries of falls are considered a major public health problem. Falls account for more than half of injury-related hospitalisations among old people. The aim of this study was to measure a 1-year period prevalence of falling among old people in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In addition, this study described the most common risk factors and consequent injuries of falls.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Mecca, Gerontology, Old age, Jeddah, Ha'il

1

Keratoconus (KC) is a ectatic corneal disorder with marked progression during childhood and puberty that may lead to severe visual loss. In addition to KC prevalence, estimate shows major geographical variations; recent studies using Scheimpflug technology are in contrast to the 1980s and 1990s literature. The present study aims to determine the prevalence of KC in paediatric patients in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, United Arab Emirates, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il, Dammam