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Al-Baghli NA, Al-Ghamdi AJ, Al-Turki KA, Al Elq AH, El-Zubaier AG, Bahnassy A
Correspondence: Dr Nadira A Al-Baghli, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes mellitus (DM) in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, and to study its relationship with socioeconomic factors.
Methods The study targeted all Saudi subjects aged 30 years and above who resided in the Eastern Province in 2004. DM screening was conducted by taking the capillary fasting blood glucose (CFBG) after eight hours or more of fasting, or the casual capillary blood glucose (CCBG). A positive screening test for hyperglycaemia was defined as CFBG more than or equal to 100 mg/dl (5.6 mmol/l), or CCBG more than or equal to 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/l). A positive result was confirmed on another day through the measurement of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels from a venous sample. A diagnosis of DM was considered if FPG was more than or equal to 126 mg/dl (7.0 mmol/l), or when there was a history of a previous diagnosis.
Results Out of 197,681 participants, 35,929 (18.2 percent) had a positive history of DM or a positive screening test for hyperglycaemia. After confirmation by venous blood testing, the prevalence of DM dropped to 17.2 percent while the prevalence of newly diagnosed DM was 1.8 percent. The prevalence increased with age and was higher in women, widows, divorcees, those who had a low education level and the unemployed.
Conclusion The prevalence of DM in Saudi Arabia is one of the highest reported in the world, and its yield of screening is high.
Keywords: diabetes mellitus, prevalence, Saudi Arabia, screening
Singapore Med J 2010; 51(12): 923-930