Risk Estimation of Type 2 Diabetes and Dietary Habits among Adult Saudi Non-diabetics in Central Saudi Arabia

  •  Abdelmarouf Mohieldein    
  •  Mohammad Alzohairy    
  •  Marghoob Hasan    


Background: International Diabetes Federation ranked Saudi Arabia on third among the top 10 countries for prevalence of diabetes in 2010. Identifying people those are at increased risk for diabetes, followed by blood glucose testing to establish the diagnosis, and are considered to be an appropriate way of dealing with this problem. Objectives and methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted for the first time in Saudi Arabia to estimate the 10-years risk of developing type 2 diabetes using the Finnish Diabetes Risk Score and to investigate the dietary habits in such individuals among the Saudi non-diabetic population from July 2009 to March 2010. A total of 2007 Saudi citizens from all 11 provinces of Al-Qassim region were assessed using combined pre-piloted questionnaires. Statistical analysis was done utilizing SPSS version 13.0. Results: The gender ratio of the study participants was 1.6 male: 1.0 female. The mean (SD) age was 26.6 (10.2) years.  The mean (SD) weight and height for males were 75.7 (19.6) kg and 169.4 (30.1) cm and for females were 64.4 (17.8) kg and 157.2 (10.4) respectively. Males had significantly higher body weight (kg), height (cm), and waist circumstance (cm) as compared to females (p <0.05). Our findings estimated that more than one-fourth of Saudi non-diabetics were found to be at moderate (one in six), high (one in three), and very high (one in two) risk to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years. Majority of them were overweight and obese (36.8% and 60% respectively). More than ninety percent were found to have very limited physical activity with poor dietary habits. Conclusion: This study provides insight into progression and onset of type 2 diabetes in Saudi non-diabetic population within next 10 years using FINDRISC. The population at risk characterized by the sedentary activities, unhealthy dietary habits, obesity, and central obesity. Our findings suggest the need for urgent efforts to increase the level of physical activity, minimize sedentary lifestyle, and to improve the pattern of dietary habits especially among the population at risk in Saudi general population.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.