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1.  Vitamin D status among patients visiting a tertiary care center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a retrospective review of 3475 cases 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:159.
Background
Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in several chronic, non-communicable diseases independent of its conventional role in bone and calcium homeostasis. In this retrospective study, we determined the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its association to several cardiometabolic indices among patients visiting King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC), a tertiary hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Methods
A total of 3475 charts of out-patient subjects who visited KAMC from September 2009 until December 2010 were reviewed and included. Variables of interest included measurements of vitamin D status, glycemic and renal profile, as well as trace elements (calcium and phosphorous).
Results
The over-all prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the cohort studied was 78.1% in females and 72.4% in males. 25(OH) vitamin D was significantly associated with increasing age and weight (p-values < 0.0001 and 0.005, respectively). It was also positively associated with albumin, calcium and phosphorous (p-values < 0.0001, < 0.0001 and 0.0007, respectively) and negatively associated with alkaline phosphatase as well as circulating levels of PTH (p-values 0.0002 and 0.0007, respectively).
Conclusion
In conclusion, vitamin D deficiency is overwhelmingly common among patients seen at KAMC regardless of the medical condition, and it is significantly associated with increasing age, weight and markers of calcium homeostasis. Findings of the present study further stress the spotlight on vitamin D deficiency epidemic in the country and region in general.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-159
PMCID: PMC3942273  PMID: 24524260
Vitamin D; Vitamin D deficiency; Saudi
2.  Age- and Gender-Specific Reference Intervals for Fasting Blood Glucose and Lipid Levels in School Children Measured With Abbott Architect c8000 Chemistry Analyzer 
Reference intervals for pubertal characteristics are influenced by genetic, geographic, dietary and socioeconomic factors. Therefore, the aim of this study was to establish age-specific reference intervals of glucose and lipid levels among local school children. This was cross-sectional study, conducted among Saudi school children. Fasting blood samples were collected from 2149 children, 1138 (53%) boys and 1011 (47%) girls, aged 6 to 18 years old. Samples were analyzed on the Architect c8000 Chemistry System (Abbott Diagnostics, USA) for glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL. Reference intervals were established by nonparametric methods between the 2.5th and 97.5th percentiles. Significant differences were observed between boys and girls for cholesterol and triglycerides levels in all age groups (P < 0.02). Only at age 6–7 years and at adolescents, HDL and LDL levels were found to be significant (P < 0.001). No significant differences were seen in glucose levels except at age 12 to 13 years. Saudi children have comparable serum cholesterol levels than their Western counterparts. This may reflect changing dietary habits and increasing affluence in Saudi Arabia. Increased lipid screening is anticipated, and these reference intervals will aid in the early assessment of cardiovascular and diabetes risk in Saudi pediatric populations.
doi:10.1007/s12291-012-0195-x
PMCID: PMC3358380  PMID: 23542765
Glucose; Lipids; Reference intervals; Children
3.  Age and BMI Adjusted Comparison of Reproductive Hormones in PCOS 
Objective and Background:
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex condition and has been described in women who have polycystic ovaries as the underlying cause of hirsutism and chronic anovulation. Studies on PCOS in the Saudi population are very few. The aim of this study was to investigate the reproductive hormones levels in patients with PCOS. Effect of age and body mass index (BMI) on the hormonal findings was eliminated through a multivariate analysis.
Materials and Methods:
A comparative study was conducted on Saudi subjects attending the outpatient clinic of National Guard Hospital in Riyadh. A total of 62 cases with PCOS and 40 healthy Saudi women were included in this study. Physical evaluation and laboratory investigations were carried out. Blood luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol (E2), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-SO4), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), total testosterone, prolactin, and progesterone were determined. To adjust for the potentially confounding effect of age and BMI, we carried out multivariate linear regression analyses for the association between each of the reproductive hormones and PCOS.
Results:
Serum levels of FSH, SHBG, and progesterone were significantly lower in PCOS compared to controls (respective P values 0.001, 0.001, and 0.002), while LH/FSH and testosterone levels were higher in PCOS cases than in controls (P = 0.008 and 0.003, respectively). When multivariate linear regression analyses were carried out, LH/FSH and total testosterone were positively correlated with the disease [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.02–0.35 and 0.02–0.17, respectively], whereas FSH, SHBG, and progesterone were negatively correlated with the disease (95% CI = –0.06 to 0.001, –0.01 to 0.001, and –0.17 to –0.03, respectively), independent of age and BMI.
Conclusion:
Our study suggests that regardless of the age and weight factors, Saudi patients with PCOS have higher levels of LH/FSH and total testosterone; but have lower levels of FSH, SHBG, and progesterone compared to controls.
doi:10.4103/2249-4863.104984
PMCID: PMC3893977  PMID: 24479022
Age; body mass index; polycystic ovary syndrome; reproductive hormones; Saudi Arabia
4.  Etomidate and mortality in cirrhotic patients with septic shock 
Background
Clinical effects and outcomes of a single dose etomidate prior to intubation in the intensive care setting is controversial. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association of a single dose effect of etomidate prior to intubation on the mortality of septic cirrhotic patients and the impact of the subsequent use of low dose hydrocortisone.
Methods
This is a nested-cohort study within a randomized double blind placebo controlled study evaluating the use of low dose hydrocortisone in cirrhotic septic patients. Cirrhotic septic patients ≥ 18 years were included in the study. Patients who received etomidate prior to intubation were compared to those who did not receive etomidate for all cause 28-day mortality as a primary outcome.
Results
Sixty two intubated patients out of the 75 patients randomized in the initial trial were eligible for this study. Twenty three of the 62 intubated patients received etomidate dose prior to intubation. Etomidate use was not associated with all cause 28-day mortality or hospital mortality but was associated with significantly higher ICU mortality (91% vs. 64% for etomidate and controls groups, respectively; p = 0.02). Etomidate patients who received subsequent doses of hydrocortisone required lower doses of vasopressors and had more vasopressor-free days but no improvement in mortality.
Conclusions
In this group of septic cirrhotic patients with very high mortality, etomidate increased ICU mortality. Subsequent use of hydrocortisone appears to have no benefit beyond decreasing vasopressor requirements. The lowest mortality was observed in patients who did not receive etomidate but received hydrocortisone.
doi:10.1186/1472-6904-11-22
PMCID: PMC3295685  PMID: 22208901
5.  Low-dose hydrocortisone in patients with cirrhosis and septic shock: a randomized controlled trial 
Background
Recent studies have reported a high prevalence of relative adrenal insufficiency in patients with liver cirrhosis. However, the effect of corticosteroid replacement on mortality in this high-risk group remains unclear. We examined the effect of low-dose hydrocortisone in patients with cirrhosis who presented with septic shock.
Methods
We enrolled patients with cirrhosis and septic shock aged 18 years or older in a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Relative adrenal insufficiency was defined as a serum cortisol increase of less than 250 nmol/L or 9 μg/dL from baseline after stimulation with 250 μg of intravenous corticotropin. Patients were assigned to receive 50 mg of intravenous hydrocortisone or placebo every six hours until hemodynamic stability was achieved, followed by steroid tapering over eight days. The primary outcome was 28-day all-cause mortality.
Results
The trial was stopped for futility at interim analysis after 75 patients were enrolled. Relative adrenal insufficiency was diagnosed in 76% of patients. Compared with the placebo group (n = 36), patients in the hydrocortisone group (n = 39) had a significant reduction in vasopressor doses and higher rates of shock reversal (relative risk [RR] 1.58, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.98–2.55, p = 0.05). Hydrocortisone use was not associated with a reduction in 28-day mortality (RR 1.17, 95% CI 0.92–1.49, p = 0.19) but was associated with an increase in shock relapse (RR 2.58, 95% CI 1.04–6.45, p = 0.03) and gastrointestinal bleeding (RR 3.00, 95% CI 1.08–8.36, p = 0.02).
Interpretation
Relative adrenal insufficiency was very common in patients with cirrhosis presenting with septic shock. Despite initial favourable effects on hemodynamic parameters, hydrocortisone therapy did not reduce mortality and was associated with an increase in adverse effects. (Current Controlled Trials registry no. ISRCTN99675218.)
doi:10.1503/cmaj.090707
PMCID: PMC3001503  PMID: 21059778
6.  Puberty Onset Among Boys in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 
Background:
The ages of onset of pubertal characteristics are influenced by genetic, geographic, dietary and socioeconomic factors; however, due to lack of country-specific norms, clinicians in Saudi Arabia use Western estimates as standards of reference for local children.
Aims:
The aim of the Riyadh Puberty Study was to provide data on pubertal development to determine the average age of onset of pubertal characteristics among Saudi boys.
Methods:
Cross-sectional study among male school children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2006, 542 schoolboys, aged 6 to 16 years old, from diverse socioeconomic levels were selected into the sample using a cluster sample design. Tanner stages were ascertained during physical examination by pediatric endocrine consultants, and also trained pediatric residents and fellows.
Results:
The mean age (standard deviation) at Tanner Stages 2, 3, 4, and 5 for pubic hair development of Saudi boys was 11.4 (1.6), 13.3 (1.3), 14.4 (1.0) and 15.1 (0.8) years old, respectively. For gonadal development, the mean age (standard deviation) at stages 2, 3, 4, and 5 were 11.4 (1.5), 13.3 (1.2), 14.3 (1.1) and 15.0 (0.9) years old, respectively.
Conclusion:
The ages of onset of pubertal characteristics, based on gonadal development, among Saudi boys are comparable to those reported in Western populations.
PMCID: PMC3666985  PMID: 23761992
adolescence; boys; pubertal characteristics; puberty onset; Riyadh; Saudi Arabia
7.  Apoptosis role of FAS/FAS ligand system in the regulation of myelopoiesis. 
OBJECTIVES: CD34+ cells and colony forming unit-granulocyte and macrophage (CFU-GM) from human bone marrow were used to investigate the role of Fas/FasL system in the regulation of myelopoiesis. METHODS: Fas and FasL expression in CD34+ cells and in day 14 CFU-GM were measured by RT-PCR and immunofluorescence respectively. The functional assays for the CFU-GM were measured by a standard colony assay and the proliferative capacity of CFU-GM was measured by replating the primary colony and observing the secondary colony formation. Human marrow cells were treated with IETD (caspase-8 inhibitor) or anti-Fas CH-11 Mab. RESULTS: Treatment with the CFU-GM with IETD significantly increased, the proliferative capacity, while anti-Fas CH-11 Mab markedly reduced it. Fas and FasL expression were demonstrated using RT-PCR and immunofluorescence respectively. CONCLUSION: Fas, FasL, and caspase activation are likely to play an important role in the regulation of myelopoiesis.
PMCID: PMC2259140  PMID: 16197727

Results 1-8 (8)