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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



During March-May 2014, a Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreak occurred in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, that included many persons who worked or received medical treatment at King Fahd General Hospital. We investigated 78 persons who had laboratory-confirmed MERS during March 2-May 10 and documented contact at this hospital. The 78 persons with MERS comprised 53 patients, 16 healthcare workers, and 9 visitors. Among the 53 patients, the most probable sites of acquisition were the emergency department (22 patients), inpatient areas (17), dialysis unit (11), and outpatient areas (3). Infection control deficiencies included limited separation of suspected MERS patients, patient crowding, and inconsistent use of infection control precautions; aggressive improvements in these deficiencies preceded a decline in cases. MERS coronavirus transmission probably was multifocal, occurring in multiple hospital settings. Continued vigilance and strict application of infection control precautions are necessary to prevent future MERS outbreaks.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, United Arab Emirates, Middle East, Jordan, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, Fahd 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


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


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


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


Personalized medicine is expected to positively change the treatment of cancer, but early identification of patients who are most likely to benefit requires an integrated effort from interprofessional care providers. Centering care around a patient’s needs is the main task for a nurse coordinator, who is considered the core person for communication among all interprofessional care providers. This article describes a perspective on the nurse coordinator role as implemented in the lung cancer clinic at King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, Ha'il


Dengue is an important global arboviral disease with expanding geographical range. It is a major public health concern in Western Saudi Arabia since its first detection in the city of Jeddah in 1994. In this retrospective study, we examined dengue incidence among febrile patients suspected for acute dengue infection at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah from 2010 to 2014 and we tried to determine the effect of climate factors on dengue incidence in the city. Acute dengue incidence rates among clinically suspected patients showed annual variation with a range from 29.3% to 57%. Male gender and 11-30 years age range were found to be risk factors for dengue infection in Jeddah. While dengue infections can be detected throughout the year, most cases occurred between March and July with peaks in May and June. Seasonality of dengue was found to be significantly associated with the decrease in relative humidity and increase in temperature within the range of ∼25 °C to ∼33 °C but not extremely hot temperatures. Moreover, we found that rainfall during winter (November to February) has a significant lag effect on dengue infection among febrile patients in the city. Jeddah is the second largest city in Saudi Arabia and a major hub for pilgrims because of its close proximity to the holy sites in the Kingdom. The observed high rates of acute dengue infections clearly show the endemicity of dengue in Jeddah. The observed higher incidence rates at young age are expected to cause an increase in severe dengue cases in the future especially that multiple dengue serotypes are co-circulating in the city. Furthermore, the significant association between the different climate factors and dengue and their impact on the disease seasonality should help in the effort to implement effective control and management measures to reduce dengue burden in the Kingdom.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Mecca, Dengue, Jeddah, House of Saud, Medina


This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and attitude of university students towards mobile phone use while driving. The present study was conducted at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Five hundred and ninety-three participants were recruited for this study. Attitude, consequences and their involvement in various reckless behaviours pertaining to the use of mobile phone while driving were checked by a questionnaire. Overall, the majority of the respondents (90%) use a mobile phone while driving. About half of the participants had experienced consequences regarding texting while driving and had engaged in reckless behaviour. The majority of the students of Faculty of Medicine, Engineering Sciences, Earth Sciences, Administration and Economics and Orientation Classes were more frequently texting while driving (p < .001). The unmarried students were more often texting while driving as compared to married (p < .001). Overall, the majority of the respondents use the mobile phone while driving.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Mecca, Mobile phone, Jeddah, House of Saud, Medina, King Abdulaziz University