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1.  The effect of non-exercise activity thermogenesis on subjects with metabolic syndrome – a proof of concept study in Qatar 
Qatar Medical Journal  2013;2013(1):12-18.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic abnormalities that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Total human energy expenditure is divided into three major components; resting metabolic rate, thermic effect of food, and activity thermogenesis which is divided into exercise and non exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). In this study, NEAT was used as a lifestyle intervention on subjects with metabolic syndrome. 200 eligible patients from the Diabetes and Endocrinology Department at Hamad Medical Hospital in Doha, Qatar were assigned to an intervention (n = 100) or control (n = 100) group and followed for one year. The intervention group was advised to practice NEAT enhancing activities, while the control group was not advised about NEAT. Measurements of waist circumference, weight, BMI, blood pressure, glucose and lipid profile were assessed at baseline, six months and 1 year.
After 1 year 52 intervention and 55 control subjects completed the study. The results revealed no statistically significant differences in metabolic syndrome components between the two randomized groups. The amount of recommended NEAT activity appears to have been too small to influence study outcomes. Future studies in similar populations may need to consider the high dropout rate, and use of incentives or other interventions to increase compliance and retention.
doi:10.5339/qmj.2013.3
PMCID: PMC3991052
2.  Ethnic and gender differences in advanced glycation end products measured by skin auto-fluorescence 
Dermato-endocrinology  2013;5(2):325-330.
Background
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) have been shown to be a predictor of cardiovascular risk in Caucasian subjects. In this study we examine whether the existing reference values are useable for non-Caucasian ethnicities. Furthermore, we assessed whether gender and smoking affect AGEs.
Methods
AGEs were determined by a non-invasive method of skin auto-fluorescence (AF). AF was measured in 200 Arabs, 99 South Asians, 35 Filipinos and 14 subjects of other/mixed ethnicity in the Qatar Metabolomics Study on Diabetes (QMDiab). Using multivariate linear regression analysis and adjusting for age and type 2 diabetes, we assessed whether ethnicity, gender and smoking were associated with AF.
Results
The mean AF was 2.27 arbitrary units (AU) (SD: 0.63). Arabs and Filipinos had a significant higher AF than the South Asian population (0.25 arbitrary units (AU) (95% CI: 0.11‒0.39), p = 0.001 and 0.34 (95% CI: 0.13‒0.55), p = 0.001 respectively). Also, AF was significantly higher in females (0.41 AU (95% CI: 0.29‒0.53), p < 0.001). AF associated with smoking (0.21 AU (95% CI: 0.01‒0.41), p = 0.04) and increased with the number of pack-years smoked (p = 0.02).
Conclusions
This study suggests that the existing reference values should take ethnicity, gender and smoking into account. Larger studies in specific ethnicities are necessary to create ethnic- and gender-specific reference values.
doi:10.4161/derm.26046
PMCID: PMC3772922  PMID: 24194974
skin auto-fluorescence; advanced glycation endproducts; type 2 diabetes; gender differences; ethnicity; smoking; epidemiology
3.  Comparison of Efficacy and Safety of Rosuvastatin, Atorvastatin and Pravastatin among Dyslipidemic Diabetic Patients 
ISRN Pharmacology  2013;2013:146579.
Objectives. To investigate the efficacy and the safety of the three most commonly prescribed statins (rosuvastatin, atorvastatin, and pravastatin) for managing dyslipidemia among diabetic patients in Qatar. Subjects and Methods. This retrospective observational population-based study included 350 consecutive diabetes patients who were diagnosed with dyslipidemia and prescribed any of the indicated statins between September 2005 and September 2009. Data was collected by review of the Pharmacy Database, the Electronic Medical Records Database (EMR viewer), and the Patient's Medical Records. Comparisons of lipid profile measurements at baseline and at first- and second-year intervals were taken. Results. Rosuvastatin (10 mg) was the most effective at reducing LDL-C (29.03%). Atorvastatin reduced LDL-C the most at a dose of 40 mg (22.8%), and pravastatin reduced LDL-C the most at a dose of 20 mg (20.3%). All three statins were safe in relation to muscular and hepatic functions. In relation to renal function, atorvastatin was the safest statin as it resulted in the least number of patients at the end of 2 years of treatment with the new onset of microalbuminuria (10.9%) followed by rosuvastatin (14.3%) and then pravastatin (26.6%). Conclusion. In the Qatari context, the most effective statin at reducing LDL-C was rosuvastatin 10 mg. Atorvastatin was the safest statin in relation to renal function. Future large-scale prospective studies are needed to confirm these results.
doi:10.1155/2013/146579
PMCID: PMC3582048  PMID: 23476802
4.  Exome Sequencing of Only Seven Qataris Identifies Potentially Deleterious Variants in the Qatari Population 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e47614.
The Qatari population, located at the Arabian migration crossroads of African and Eurasia, is comprised of Bedouin, Persian and African genetic subgroups. By deep exome sequencing of only 7 Qataris, including individuals in each subgroup, we identified 2,750 nonsynonymous SNPs predicted to be deleterious, many of which are linked to human health, or are in genes linked to human health. Many of these SNPs were at significantly elevated deleterious allele frequency in Qataris compared to other populations worldwide. Despite the small sample size, SNP allele frequency was highly correlated with a larger Qatari sample. Together, the data demonstrate that exome sequencing of only a small number of individuals can reveal genetic variations with potential health consequences in understudied populations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047614
PMCID: PMC3490971  PMID: 23139751
5.  Plantar Temperature Response to Walking in Diabetes with and without Acute Charcot: The Charcot Activity Response Test 
Journal of Aging Research  2012;2012:140968.
Objective. Asymmetric plantar temperature differences secondary to inflammation is a hallmark for the diagnosis and treatment response of Charcot foot syndrome. However, little attention has been given to temperature response to activity. We examined dynamic changes in plantar temperature (PT) as a function of graduated walking activity to quantify thermal responses during the first 200 steps. Methods. Fifteen individuals with Acute Charcot neuroarthropathy (CN) and 17 non-CN participants with type 2 diabetes and peripheral neuropathy were recruited. All participants walked for two predefined paths of 50 and 150 steps. A thermal image was acquired at baseline after acclimatization and immediately after each walking trial. The PT response as a function of number of steps was examined using a validated wearable sensor technology. The hot spot temperature was identified by the 95th percentile of measured temperature at each anatomical region (hind/mid/forefoot). Results. During initial activity, the PT was reduced in all participants, but the temperature drop for the nonaffected foot was 1.9 times greater than the affected side in CN group (P = 0.04). Interestingly, the PT in CN was sharply increased after 50 steps for both feet, while no difference was observed in non-CN between 50 and 200 steps. Conclusions. The variability in thermal response to the graduated walking activity between Charcot and non-Charcot feet warrants future investigation to provide further insight into the correlation between thermal response and ulcer/Charcot development. This stress test may be helpful to differentiate CN and its response to treatment earlier in its course.
doi:10.1155/2012/140968
PMCID: PMC3413979  PMID: 22900177
6.  The utility of an electronic adherence assessment device in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a pilot study of single medication 
Objectives:
The primary objective of this pilot study was to determine if the Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS) is capable of providing meaningful estimates of compliance within the indigenous Qatari population. The secondary objective was to highlight any specific problems which might be associated with the use of MEMS within this population.
Method:
A sample of adult diabetic Qatari patients attending an outpatient diabetic clinic were administered a Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices (KAP) questionnaire and then dispensed one of their regular medications in a MEMS®-fitted bottle. Data contained in the MEMS® were downloaded after the patients returned for a refill and adherence was estimated using 2 methods: pill count and MEMS® data.
Results:
A total of 54 patients agreed to participate in this pilot study. Adherence to daily doses was 67.7% and with regimen 13.7%. No correlation was found between adherence assessed by pill count and MEMS®. The association between KAP and adherence was generally poor. A number of other issues and challenges in the use of MEMS® that could affect its utility were noted and will be discussed.
Conclusions:
Our results revealed problems associated with the use of MEMS® that could affect its usefulness in assessing adherence in this part of the world. Some issues identified in this pilot study included retrieving the MEMS®, registering extra opening of MEMS®, desire to hoard medicine by taking doses at different frequency than recorded in MEMS®. All these issues could be closely associated with the attitudes and practices of the patients, as demonstrated by our KAP analysis and correlations.
PMCID: PMC2915557  PMID: 20694184
Medication Events Monitoring System (MEMS); type 2 diabetes mellitus; drug therapy; medication adherence

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