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Concept: Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia

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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

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Clinical relevance of nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) is increasing worldwide including in Saudi Arabia. A high species diversity of NTM’s has been noticed in a recent study. However, the identification in diagnostic laboratories is mostly limited to common species. The impact of NTM species diversity on clinical outcome is so far neglected in most of the clinical settings.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, United Arab Emirates, Mecca, Yemen, Iraq, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia

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Social media (SM), a virtual place where people can share, exchange, and communicate their ideas and knowledge, has become the new trend in communication and learning. This study aims to explore Saudi Arabian medical students' usage of SM and to discover the most common resources used in medical education. Furthermore, it aims to illustrate students' belief about the influence of SM on their learning.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, United Arab Emirates, Mecca, Yemen, Iraq, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia

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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 clinicaltrials.gov 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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To evaluate sleep quality and daytime sleepiness in health care professionals who are performing shift work. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 510 health care professionals at Prince Sultan Military Medical City and King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between December 2015 and April 2016. Data were collected using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). Participants were divided into 2 groups: shift workers and non-shift workers. Results: We compared both groups regarding the effect of shift work on the total score of PSQI and ESS. We found that the PSQI global score (p less than 0.001) and the total ESS score (p=0.003) were significantly higher in shift work health care professionals.  Conclusion: Shift work among health care professionals is associated with poor sleep quality but not excessive daytime sleepiness. Health care professionals performing shift work have PSQI and ESS scores slightly higher than non-shift work health professionals.

Concepts: Health care, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Mecca, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, King Saud University, Fahd of Saudi Arabia