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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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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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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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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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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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ABSTRACTFor this study, we adapted the Montgomery Borgatta Caregiver Burden Scale, used widely in the United States, to the Saudi Arabian context. To produce an Arabic, culturally sensitive version of the scale, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 Saudi family caregivers. The Arabic version of the scale was tested, and participants were asked to comment on the appropriateness of items for the construct of “caregiver burden” using the repertory grid technique and laddering procedure - two constructivist methods derived from personal construct theory. From interview findings, we examined the content of the items and the caregiver burden construct itself. Our findings suggest that the use of constructivist methods to refine constructs and quantitative instruments is highly informative. This strategy is feasible even when little is known about the investigated constructs in the target culture and further elucidates our understanding of cross-cultural variations or invariance of different versions of the scale.

Concepts: United States, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Mecca, Yemen, Iraq, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia

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To appraise and synthesise existing literature on nurse turnover in the Saudi Arabian context.

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

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There is a difference between evidence-based guidelines for geriatric patients and clinical practice of physicians. Prescribing potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) can be attributed to the fact that many physicians are not aware of PIMs usage.

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