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Concept: House of Saud


The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of admissions criteria at King Saud University (KSU), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to predict students' early academic performance at three health science colleges (medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy). A retrospective cohort study was conducted with data from the records of students enrolled in the three colleges from the 2008-09 to 2010-11 academic years. The admissions criteria-high school grade average (HSGA), aptitude test (APT) score, and achievement test (ACT) score-were the independent variables. The dependent variable was the average of students' first- and second-year grade point average (GPA). The results showed that the ACT was a better predictor of the students' early academic performance than the HSGA (β=0.368, β=0.254, respectively). No significant relationship was found between the APT and students' early academic performance (β=-0.019, p>0.01). The ACT was most predictive for pharmacy students (β=0.405), followed by dental students (β =0.392) and medical students (β=0.195). Overall, the current admissions criteria explained only 25.5% of the variance in the students' early academic performance. While the ACT and HSGA were found to be predictive of students' early academic performance in health colleges at KSU, the APT was not a strong predictor. Since the combined current admissions criteria for the health science colleges at KSU were weak predictors of the variance in early academic performance, it may be necessary to consider noncognitive evaluation methods during the admission process.

Concepts: Cohort study, Evaluation methods, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, King Saud University, Aptitude



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


Low Back Pain (LBP) is the commonest musculoskeletal disorder and an important occupational hazard among healthcare workers (HCWs) that peaks among Operating Room (OR) staff. This cross-sectional study aimed to assess the prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors of low back pain among operating room (OR) staff in a tertiary healthcare center in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

Concepts: Medicine, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Tertiary referral hospital, Jeddah, House of Saud


To assess hospital emergency nurses' self-reported knowledge, role awareness and skills in disaster response with respect to the Hajj mass gathering in Mecca.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, House of Saud, Medina, Masjid al-Haram


BACKGROUND: To determine hand hygiene compliance before and after an intervention campaign in critical care units, this study was carried out in the Intensive care unit (ICU), Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Burns unit (BU) and the Kidney unit of the King Abdul Aziz Specialist Hospital, Taif, Saudi Arabia. The observation using the WHO hand hygiene protocol took place in four phases with phase I, between April 24-May 06 2010 and phase II from May 29-June 09 2010. An educational intervention took place between the Phases I and II. Follow-up Phases III and IV were from 01–15 October 2010 and 15–30 March 2011 respectively. FINDINGS: 1,975 hand hygiene opportunities comprising of 409 in Phase I, 406 in Phase II, 620 in Phase III and 540 Phase IV were observed. Compliance rate was 67% pre-intervention, 81% in phase II, declining to 59% and 65% in phases III and IV. Increased compliance in the ICU from 39% in Phase I to 81% in Phase IV (p < 0.05) was sustained throughout the study. Highest compliance rates were recorded among nurses in all phases. The improved compliance for physicians observed in the post-intervention phase was lost in follow-up phases. Missed opportunities for hand hygiene were before patient contact, after touching patient's surrounding and before aseptic techniques. Team-work and leadership were identified as enhancing factors for compliance. CONCLUSION: The WHO hand hygiene strategy combined with health education, continuous evaluation and team approach resulted in increased compliance but this was not sustained in certain critical care areas.

Concepts: Health, Intensive care medicine, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Mecca, World Health Organization, Neonatal intensive care unit, House of Saud


To assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice of antibiotics (ABs) use and misuse among adults living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a self-administered questionnaire was distributed to participants from  March 2016 to January 2017 in the outpatient department of King Khalid University Hospital and Dental Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire was divided into 4 sections. The first and second section inquired regarding demographic details and knowledge of ABs. The third section assessed practice of ABs and the fourth section assessed attitude of participants towards ABs use. Questionnaires were hand delivered to respondents using convenience sampling. Statistical analysis using frequency distributions and knowledge responses of AB resistance for ‘yes’ and ‘no’ were associated with participant characteristics using Chi-square test.  Results: A total of 1966 questionnaires were completed (response rate: 93.5%). Sixty-seven percent of the respondents were unaware of the meaning of ABs resistance. Sixty-seven percent of respondents were unaware of ABs being harmful for children’s teeth and 64.9% unaware of ABs that develop allergy and death.  Twenty-four percent believed that ABs worked on viruses, 31% on cold and 21% can cure cough. Almost 51% used ABs without physician prescription while 37.5% obtained ABs directly from pharmacists without physician’s prescription. Almost 42% participants discontinued ABs on alleviation of symptoms. There was significant difference in knowledge response of AB resistance and source of AB use (p=0.026), reason of AB use (p=0.038) and discontinuation of ABs (p=0.041). Conclusion: Adults showed insufficient knowledge and understanding regarding the safe use of ABs consumption among the population.

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


Influenza vaccine hesitancy is a major problem worldwide, with significant public health consequences. We aimed to determine the prevalence of influenza vaccine hesitancy and the effect of vaccine awareness campaigns on vaccine acceptance among three groups (parents, adult patients, and healthcare workers [HCWs]) at King Abdulaziz Medical City, a tertiary care hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia


Repetition of an image is a critical event in any radiology department. When the repetition rate of routine digital chest radiographs is high, radiation exposure of staff and patients is increased. In addition, repetition consumes the equipment’s life span, thus affecting the annual budget of the department.

Concepts: X-ray, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia


To detect common skin-sensitizing agents among patients experiencing allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). Methods: This was a retrospective study of 152 patients with clinically suspected ACD who underwent patch testing in an allergy clinic at King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between January 2012 and February 2015. Of these patients, only 74 (48%) patients reacted to one or more contact allergens. This group of patients included 58 (78.4%) women and 16 (21.6%) men (mean age: 37.8±13.8 years). Patch testing was performed using the thin-layer rapid-use epicutaneous patch test panels. Results: Nickel sulfate was the most common sensitizing agent, with 26 (35.1%) patients yielding a positive result; followed by p-phenylenediamine in 17 (22.9%), butyl-tetra-phenol formaldehyde in 12 (16.2%), gold sodium thiosulfate in 10 (13.5%), and thimerosal in 6 (8.1%) patients. Nickel reactivity was significantly higher among women (41.4%) than among men (12.5%) (p less than 0.0001). Similarly, gold reactivity among women (15.5%) was also higher than among men (6.2%) (p≤0.02).  Conclusion: The high level of skin sensitization due to nickel, PPD, and gold in patients with ACD emphasizes the need for measures to decrease exposure to these sensitizing agents.

Concepts: Hypersensitivity, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Eczema, Skin allergy test, Contact dermatitis, House of Saud