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Concept: Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia


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



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


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


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


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


To establish baseline sleep architecture during an acute attack of Kleine-Levin syndrome (KLS) in a cohort of Saudi Arabian KLS patients and compare these characteristics with other published cohorts. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of the polysomnographic characteristics of 10 typical symptomatic Saudi Arabian KLS patients attending the University Sleep Disorders Center, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between 2002 and 2015. Data were captured by nocturnal polysomnography during an acute attack of hypersomnia and compared with other published cohorts identified via a systematic literature search.  Results: Self-reported time asleep during episodes (11.1±6.7 hours) and recorded total sleep time (TST) (322.5±108.7 minutes) were generally shorter than other published cohorts. Sleep efficiency was poor at 75.0%±25.1%, with low relative amounts of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (16.5±5.9% of TST) and deep non-REM sleep (stage N3; 10.5±6.0% of TST) and high relative amounts of non-REM sleep (stage N1; 7.0±4.3% of TST). The sleep architecture of Saudi Arabian KLS patients was similar to other published cohorts.  Conclusions: Sleep architecture of our cohort was relatively normal and broadly similar to other published studies, the main features being low sleep efficiency and low relative amounts of REM and stage N3 sleep. Time-course polysomnography studies with functional imaging may be useful to further establish the exact pathophysiology of this disease.

Concepts: Sleep, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Polysomnography, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, King Saud University


The objective of the study was to find the determinants related to not breastfeeding (BF) and others related to the delay in the early initiation of BF in the Mecca region, Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional study in the Maternity and Children Hospital and primary healthcare centers was performed. A questionnaire was filled by dietitians to 814 asymptomatic Saudi mothers. Determinants related to not BF and the delay in the early initiation of BF were determined by binary logistic regression, and the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were determined. Significant factors associated with not BF were not rooming-in infants in the mother’s room (OR: 2.37; 95% CI: 1.66-3.41) and using a pacifier (OR: 1.62; 95% CI: 1.13-2.33). The most significant determinant of the early initiation of BF was the initiation of bottle feeding (OR: 18.16; 95% CI: 10.51-31.4), followed by not rooming-in infants in the mother’s room (OR: 2.2; 95% CI: 1.52-3.18), initiation of partial feeding (OR: 1.89; 95% CI: 1.3-2.74), uninformed mothers regarding the importance of BF (OR: 1.56; 95% CI: 1.04-2.35), and cesarean sections (OR:1.42; 95% CI: 1.02-1.98). Risk factors affecting BF and the early initiation of BF in Mecca City should be highlighted in national campaigns to increase mothers' awareness and promote BF practice.

Concepts: Infant, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia


To evaluate the risk factors, physician’s compliance, and implementation of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) guidelines for venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis at our hospital.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Mecca, Gulf War, Jeddah, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, Medina, Fahd of Saudi Arabia