The Saudi Abnormal Glucose Metabolism and Diabetes Impact Study (SAUDI-DM)

Khalid Al-Rubeaan, Hamad Al-Manaa, Tawfik Khoja, Najlaa Ahmad, Ahmad Al-Sharqawi, Khalid Siddiqui, Dehkra AlNaqeb, Khaled Aburisheh, Amira Youssef, Abdullah Al-Batil, Metib Al-Otaibi, Ali Al Ghamdi
Annals of Saudi Medicine 2014, 34 (6): 465-75

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Saudi Arabia underwent opulence-driven socio-cultural and lifestyle changes leading to soaring rates of diabetes mellitus. This study exposes the epidemiology of abnormal glucose metabolism namely: diabetes and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) in 13 administrative regions of Saudi Arabia.

DESIGN AND SETTINGS: This is a nationwide, household, population-based cross-sectional study that was conducted through primary health care centers during the period 2007-2009.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A nationwide, household, population-based cohort of 53370 participants aged 0-100 years adjusted to be compatible with population census was interviewed and anthropometric measures were collected. Fasting blood sample was used to screen for IFG and diabetes.

RESULTS: The overall prevalence of abnormal glucose metabolism was 34.5%, which included 22.6% patients with IFG, 11.9% patients with diabetes, and 6.2% patients who unaware of their disease. Diabetes prevalence was 40.2% for subjects aged >=45 years and 25.4% for those aged >=30 years that decreased to 11.9% when the full age spectrum was considered. Type 1 diabetes prevalence was 0. 8%, contributing only to 6.6% of the total population of patients with diabetes. The top 5 regions with the highest abnormal glucose metabolism prevalence were Makkah (43.4%), Aljouf (41.7%), Eastern region (37.16%), Madinah (35.4%), and Qassim (33.7%). Urbanization, age, and obesity were behind the wide variations in diabetes and IFG prevalence in the 13 regions.

CONCLUSION: Abnormal glucose metabolism has reached an epidemic state in Saudi Arabia, where one-third of the population is affected and half of diabetic cases were unaware of their disease. This observation warrants an urgent strategy for launching diabetes primary prevention and screening programs.

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