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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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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

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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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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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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

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Deafblindness is mostly due to Usher syndrome caused by recessive mutations in the known genes. Mutation-negative patients therefore either have distinct diseases, mutations in yet unknown Usher genes or in extra-exonic parts of the known genes - to date a largely unexplored possibility. In a consanguineous Saudi family segregating Usher syndrome type 1 (USH1), NGS of genes for Usher syndrome, deafness and retinal dystrophy and subsequent whole-exome sequencing each failed to identify a mutation. Genome-wide linkage analysis revealed two small candidate regions on chromosome 3, one containing the USH3A gene CLRN1, which has never been associated with Usher syndrome in Saudi Arabia. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) identified a homozygous deep intronic mutation, c.254-649T > G, predicted to generate a novel donor splice site. CLRN1 minigene-based analysis confirmed the splicing of an aberrant exon due to usage of this novel motif, resulting in a frameshift and a premature termination codon. We identified this mutation in an additional two of seven unrelated mutation-negative Saudi USH1 patients. Locus-specific markers indicated that c.254-649T > G CLRN1 represents a founder allele that may significantly contribute to deafblindness in this population. Our finding underlines the potential of WGS to uncover atypically localized, hidden mutations in patients who lack exonic mutations in the known disease genes.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, United Arab Emirates, Mecca, Yemen, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia

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Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) is the only available vaccine for tuberculosis (TB). Low grade complications in healthy recipients and disseminated vaccine associated complications among immuno-suppressed individuals were noticed globally after administration. Recently a series of clinically suspected BCG associated suppurative and non-suppurative lymphadenitis cases were reported from different regions of Saudi Arabia. However a molecular confirmative analysis was lacking to prove these claims.

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

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A confidential inquiry by the Directorate General of health affairs, Makkah region, Saudi Arabia, found physicians were resistant to enter patient-related information in the electronic medical records system at different hospitals. This study aims to highlight their computer literacy needs.

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