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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


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


To create a food frequency questionnaire specifically designed to capture the dietary habits of Saudis and test its validity and reliability. Methods: This investigation is a longitudinal, test-retest study conducted in King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between December 2015 and March 2016. A list of 140 food items was included in the questionnaire where a closed-ended and open-ended approach was used. Regarding past   year food frequency consumption and 24 hours dietary recall, body weight and height were collected. Internal consistency, test-retest reliability, completeness of the food list, and criterion validity were assessed. Results: One-hundred and thirty eight participants were interviewed to complete the 24 hours dietary recall and the constructed questionnaire. Approximately 85% of the food items reported in the dietary recall were covered in the food frequency questionnaire. The association of body mass index with meats (regression coefficients: 2.28) and dairy products consumption frequency was statistically significant (regression coefficients: 2.31). A high overall reproducibility rate of the questionnaire was detected (Pearsons' correlation coefficient: 0.78 p less than 0.001).  Conclusion: The developed questionnaire has a high reliability and reasonable validity, and suitable for use in nutritional epidemiological investigations in Saudi Arabia.

Concepts: Nutrition, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Psychometrics, Reliability, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, King Saud University


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


The aim of this work was to raise awareness of problems using digital applications for examining, teaching, and applying telecytology at King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), Omaha, NE, USA; and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Pittsburgh, PA, USA. The objective was to rationalize problems and propose alternative digital approaches.

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


Several studies have investigated the association of different HLA antigens with multiple sclerosis (MS). However, only few studies have considered the association of high resolution HLA type and MS, with none yet from Saudi Arabia. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of HLA class II alleles with MS in the Saudi population. We used next generation sequencing to investigate HLA association with MS. This study was conducted at King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We found that several HLA-DRB1 and DQB1 alleles were associated with MS. These alleles included HLA-DRB1*15:01 (OR 3.01, 95% CI = 1.68-5.54, p=0.0001), HLA-DQB1*02:01 (OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.20-2.58, p=0.0022), HLA-DQB1*06:02 (OR 3.52, 95% CI = 1.87-6.86, P < 0.0001), and HLA-DQB1*06:03 (OR = 2.42, 95% CI = 1.16-5.25, P = 0.01). Interestingly, HLA-DRB1*15:01 was associated with increased risk of previous relapses. In addition, HLA-DRB1*15:01 and HLA-DQB1*06:02 were found to be associated with lower vitamin D levels. This study provides insights on the association of different HLA alleles with clinical characteristics and outcome of MS among Saudis. These insights can have future implications for the clinical management of MS based on the patient genetic profile.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Human leukocyte antigen, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, Medina


Only one study has been conducted in Saudi Arabia to assess medical students' knowledge of standard precautions (SPs) and infection control (IC). In this study, we examined knowledge of SPs and IC among clinical students attending the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Concepts: Medicine, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Mecca, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, Ha'il, Fahd of Saudi Arabia