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Concept: King Saud University

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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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Amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) are the most commonly used illicit drugs in Saudi Arabia. Frequency and outcome of ATS-related cardiovascular (CV) complications in the Saudi community have not been previously studied.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il, Dammam, King Saud University

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To investigate asthma prevalence and to measure asthma symptoms among Saudi adults in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il, Dammam, King Saud University

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To evaluate the association between psychological stress and skin symptoms among medical students.  Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out between January and June 2015. Electronic survey consists of Perceived Stress Questionnaire (PSQ) and Self-Reported Skin Complaints Questionnaire were distributed to all 1435 undergraduate students at College of Medicine, King Saud University (KSU), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Results: Final analysis was performed on data from 529 (36.9%) students. Students were divided into three groups: least stressed students, n=135, PSQ index less than 0.39; highly stressed students, n=136, PSQ index greater than 0.61; and moderately stressed students, n=258. Older age, female gender, during exam weeks, and fourth and fifth years of medical school (all p less than 0.01) were associated with the highest perceived stress levels. When compared to least stressed students, highly stressed students suffered from more oily, waxy patches or flakes on scalp (p≤0.0001), dry/sore rash (p≤0.0001), warts (p≤0.0001), pimples (p≤0.0001), itchy skin (p≤0.0001), hands itchy rash (p≤0.0001), hair loss (p≤0.0001), pull-out own hair (p=0.008), scaly skin (p=0.012), troublesome sweating (p=0.016), nails biting (p=0.028), and other rashes on face (p= 0.028).  Conclusion: Various common skin conditions could appear in context of psychological stress among medical students.

Concepts: Medicine, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Pediatrics, Medical school, Psychiatry, House of Saud, King Saud University

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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

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To determine the prevalence of dental erosion and its association to commonly used beverages and snacks among 3 to 5 year old preschool children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il, Dammam, King Saud University

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Unfortunately, one of the co-author affiliation was incorrect in the original publication of this article. The correct affiliation is given below: Abdulaziz Z. Alomar, King Khalid University Hospital, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is an Islamic monarchy and was established in 1932. Saudi women first entered the medical field in 1975 and the country has since seen a steady increase in women pursuing medicine. However, there is limited data on gender related issues for women doctors practicing in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, our study objective was to assess the perception amongst peers regarding gender equality and social issues faced by women doctors in Saudi Arabia. An online anonymous cross-sectional survey was administered in English to doctors at King Khalid Hospital, affiliated to King Saud University, in Riyadh, between April and May of 2016. Of 1015 doctors, 304 (30%) participated, of which 129 (42.4%) were females and 231 (76%) were Saudi nationals. The average age was 32.4 years (±SD: 8.7). The majority opined that there was no gender discrimination in salaries (73.7% p-value = 0.4), hospital benefits (62.2% p-value = 0.06) or entry into any field of Medicine/Pediatrics (68.4% p-value = 0.207). However, only a minority believed that there was no gender discrimination for entry into surgery (37.3% p-value = .091). A higher proportion of male doctors agreed that promotion opportunities are equal (66.3% vs 45.7%, p-value = 0.002). However, of 54 consultants, only 18 (33.3%) were women. Over half of the women (52.3%) reported that they never wear the face veil. Only a minority of male and female doctors (12.2%) believed women doctors should wear the veil since they examine male patients. Fewer respondents believed that female doctors face harassment from male doctors (14.5%) whereas 30.7% believed female doctors face harassment from male patients. More females, than males, agreed with the statement that female doctors are as committed to their careers as are males (92.2% vs 67.4%, p-value<0.0001). Of 304 participants, 210 (69.1%) said that they would still choose to become a doctor with approximately equal proportions between males and females (68% vs 70.5%, p-value = 0.79). In conclusion, our survey of male and female doctors at a government university hospital in Saudi Arabia revealed that the majority believed there was gender equality amongst doctors in terms of salaries, benefits, opportunities for promotion and entry into any field of medicine or pediatrics, but not surgery. However, there were significantly fewer women at consultant positions, a deficiency that needs to be addressed.

Concepts: Male, Female, Gender, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, King Saud University

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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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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