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1.  Barriers to breast cancer screening among a sample of Egyptian females 
Background:
Breast cancer (BC) is usually diagnosed in late stages in countries with limited resources. Early detection of BC is likely to improve the outcome of the disease for women in these areas.
Objective:
The aim of this study was to understand the possible personal, economic, and systems barriers to BC screening in a sample of Egyptian women.
Materials and Methods:
A cross-sectional study was conducted in family health centers representing the seven districts of Alexandria governorate, Egypt. A total of 612 women were randomly selected from the chosen centers.
Results:
In this sample of Egyptian women, the most frequently identified potential barriers to BC screening were the following: 81.8% would not seek care until they were ill, 77% were unwilling to have a mammogram until it was recommended by the doctor, 71.4% blamed the, lack of privacy, 69.2% thought that medical checkups were not worthwhile, and 64.6% blamed the cost of services. The study further revealed that women of lower education, women in the lower income category, women who did not do paid work, those who had poor knowledge of the risks of BC, and women with no family history of BC were more likely to perceive different screening barriers compared with their counterparts.
Conclusion:
Many potential personal, economic, and health system barriers were identified. Addressing these barriers by increasing the awareness of BC and dealing with the misconceptions that the women have can help the policy makers to design more culturally relevant strategies to motivate women to utilize screening services.
doi:10.4103/2230-8229.134771
PMCID: PMC4073560  PMID: 24987281
Breast cancer; barriers; Egypt; screening
2.  Prevalence of smoking among male secondary school students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 
Objectives:
This study was conducted to examine the prevalence of smoking and habits of smoking among male secondary school students in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and to assess their knowledge and attitudes toward it.
Materials and Methods:
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Jeddah, using a two-stage cluster sampling, randomly selecting 4 out of 85 government male secondary schools. Data were obtained through a self-administered questionnaire eliciting responses to questions on personal background, smoking behavior, knowledge, behavior, and attitude toward smoking. A total of 695 students responded to the questionnaires with 87.4% response rate.
Results:
Of the studied group, 258 (37%) currently smoked, and of these, 83.7% had started smoking at the age of 14 years or less. The most common reason for smoking was the influence of family, especially the presence of someone at home who smoked (65, 9%) and friends who smoked (42.5%). Many of the students search for information on the risks of smoking (66.3%), and only (45.3%) knew about the bad effects of passive smoking on others. Two-third of the students who smoked wanted to quit smoking (63.2%), especially if suitable help was offered, whereas (60.9%) had tried to quit. While 50% of students smoked for recreation and entertainment, and (33.6%) had difficulty avoiding smoking in no smoking areas.
Conclusion:
A well-planned integrated antismoking campaign is urgently required, especially among students and teachers. The study revealed that the prevalence of smoking was high. This will contribute to an increase in smoking-related health problems in the future if proper preventive measures are not taken.
doi:10.4103/2230-8229.121993
PMCID: PMC3957170  PMID: 24672274
Smoking; male students; secondary school; prevalence; behavior
3.  Prediction of sustained virologic responses to combination therapy of pegylated interferon-α and ribavirin in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection 
Background and Aim:
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major health problem worldwide. Genotype-4 is the most common genotype in Saudi Arabia. The response to treatment with pegylated interferon-α combined with ribavirin in chronic HCV infection varies. This study aimed at investigating the pre- and on-treatment predictors of sustained virologic response (SVR) in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) infection.
Patients and Methods:
Clinical data of 48 patients with CHC treated with standard HCV antiviral combination therapy, between January 2005 and December 2010, at a Saudi University hospital, were retrospectively reviewed for age, sex, body mass index, liver enzymes, HCV-RNA viral load, liver biopsy, and response to treatment. The primary end point was SVR defined as undetectable HCV-RNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) 24 weeks after the end of treatment. Univariable logistic regression was used to explore the association between the different variables and SVR. These independent predictors of SVR were then analyzed with multivariable logistic regression analysis.
Results:
Of the 48 treated patients, 25 (52%) were females and 27 (56%) were Saudi. The mean age was 43 years (43 ± 10 years). Twenty-four (50%) had genotype-4, and 26 (54%) had liver biopsy. The overall SVR rate was 75% (36/48) and was 83.3% (20/24) among genotype-4 patients. Baseline factors associated with SVR identified by univariate logistic regression were genotype-4 and early viral response (EVR), defined as a drop of ≥2 log in serum HCV viral load after 12 weeks of initiation of combination therapy (P = 0.001). However, in stepwise regression analysis, the independent factor associated with the effect of antiviral therapy was genotype-4. When on-treatment variables were included, EVR (P = 0.003) and low baseline viral load (P = 0.048) were highly predictive of SVR.
Conclusions:
Of our HCV-treated patients, 75% had SVR. HCV genotype-4, EVR, and low baseline viral load were predictive of SVR.
doi:10.4103/2230-8229.108182
PMCID: PMC3663162  PMID: 23723729
Chronic hepatitis C; Saudi; sustained virologic response; treatment response predictors
4.  ANALYSIS OF DIARRHEA EPISODES IN CHILDREN REPORTED AT A PRIMARY HEALTH CARE CENTER IN ABHA CITY IN THE YEAR 2002 
Objective:
To determine the incidence, characteristics and the different factors associated with diarrhea events reported at the Primary Health Care (PHC) level in children under five years of age.
Material and methods:
All reported cases of diarrhea in children under 5 in the primary health care (PHC) center of Wasat Abha, Abha city during the year 2002. The medical records of patients were reviewed for name, sex, date, duration of diarrhea and character of stool, type of feeding, degree of dehydration, the treatment received and the outcome.
Results:
The overall incidence /child/year 2002 was 1.2 episodes. The total number of diarrhea episodes in that age group was 573 cases giving an incidence rate of 9.9% for the year 2002.
Two thirds of the episodes of diarrhea (64.6%) occurred in females, and 60.9% of the episodes affected 7-12-month olds. The majority of diarrhea episodes (89.4%) lasted less than 7 days and only 3.7% of cases were moderately dehydrated. Ninety four percent of the cases improved and only 1.7 % were admitted to the hospital.
Conclusion:
The incidence of diarrhea episodes in the under fives in the year 2002 was lower than the national rate reported in 1993. Female children had about twice the incidence of diarrhea in male children and the highest incidence was observed in the 7-12-month olds. The majority of cases were acute. It is recommended that studies on the incidence of diarrhea in all PHC centers be done in order to monitor the progress of diarrhea in children and implement suitable preventive measures.
PMCID: PMC3410103  PMID: 23012044
Incidence; diarrhea; Primary Health Care; Children
5.  HEARING IMPAIRMENT AND HYPERTENSION AMONG LONG DISTANCE BUS DRIVERS 
Objectives:
To investigate the prevalence of possible hearing impairment and hypertension in long distance bus drivers compared to the city bus drivers in Abha city.
Methods:
This was a cross-sectional study involving 62 long distance bus drivers and 46 city bus drivers from October 2001 to March 2002. A specially-designed questionnaire was administered to the drivers to explore some of their socioeconomic backgrounds. A pure tone air conduction audiometry and blood pressure measurements were performed.
Results:
Long distance bus drivers’ workload is significantly higher than that of city drivers (total weekly hours 64.0±14.3 compared to 46.7±5.5). Hearing impairment was significantly more among long distance drivers in the frequencies of 250, 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz especially in the left ear even after age corrections. The prevalence of mild hearing loss and hypertension were also higher among the long distance drivers (19.4% vs 4.5% and 38.7% vs 13% respectively).
Conclusion and recommendations:
This study showed more hearing affection and a higher prevalence of hypertension among long distance bus drivers than their counterparts operating in the city. Their hearing acuity should be tested before they start work and regularly afterwards. The stresses and strains of the job should be further studied and relieved; and regular health checks including blood pressure monitoring are to be instituted.
PMCID: PMC3425749  PMID: 23012034
Hearing impairment; workload; hypertension; bus drivers
6.  NEWLY DIAGNOSED SEIZURES IN ADOLESCENTS: A COMPARATIVE STUDY 
Objective:
To study the clinical, EEG and CT profile in a hospital population of adolescents with newly diagnosed recurrent seizures.
Methods:
The clinical profiles obtained from history including detailed descriptions of the seizures, examination, electroencephalographic (EEG) and computed tomography (CT) findings were recorded prospectively for all 14 to18-year-old patients who were referred to the electrodiagnostic service at King Fahd Hospital of the University, Al- Khobar, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia from 1st January 1996 to 31st December 1997. The data were entered into a standard dbase file and analyzed using a personal computer. The results were compared with 2 previous concomitant subsets of data obtained from 263 children ≤13 years (72%) and 73 adults > 18 years (20%) over the same study period.
Results:
Twenty-nine patients (14 males and 15 females, a mean age of 15.7 years) with newly diagnosed recurrent seizures were studied. A positive family history of seizures was found in 10.3%. The main seizure types were partial in 11 (37.9%), partial with secondary generalization in 6 (20.7%) and generalized in 12 (41.4%). The types of epileptic syndromes included localization-related 15 (51.7%), generalized 12 (41.4%) and undetermined 2 (16.9%). The EEG was abnormal in 21 (72.4%) with epileptiform activity, focal in 11 (52.4%), generalized in 9 (42.8%) and none-epileptiform activity in 1 (4.8%). The cranial CT findings were normal in 21 patients (72.4%) and abnormal in 8 (27.6%) patients, with focal lesions in 6 (75%) and generalized cerebral atrophy in 2 (25%). The frequency of adolescents presenting with newly-diagnosed seizures was 8% of the total study population of 365 patients including children and adults.
Conclusion:
The results showed that partial and partial with secondary generalization seizures and the localization-related epileptic syndrome are the most frequent seizure and epileptic syndrome types in adolescents. The least frequent of newly diagnosed seizures in adolescents compared to children and adults confirms the bimodality of peak frequency in the young and old that has been observed in the west.
PMCID: PMC3425765  PMID: 23011990
seizures; epilepsy; EEG; computed tomography; Saudi Arabia
7.  ARE WE READY FOR ARABIZATION IN MEDICAL EDUCATION? 
Objective:
To obtain the views of faculty members of the College of Medicine, King Faisal University on Arabization of medical education.
Methods:
A cross-sectional study was conducted in the College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Dammam, between January and June 2001 using a standardized 41-item questionnaire to obtain the views of faculty members in both basic science and clinical departments on issues relating mainly to scientific research. The responses were recorded on a 5-point scale: strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree and strongly disagree. A couple of questions were used to probe the issue of publications in Arabic and translations into Arabic.
Results:
The response rate of faculty was 67% (74 of a total of 110 faculty members). The participating faculty members included 22 professors, 27 associate professors, 23 assistant professors and 2 lecturers belonging to 24 departments (6 basic sciences, 18 clinical). Thirty- four members (45.9%) were in favor of Arabization and 40 (54%) were against.
Conclusions:
Faculty members form the backbone for the implementation of Arabization in medical education. The opinions obtained in this preliminary survey of the faculty of the College of Medicine at King Faisal University indicate that we are still far from achieving this goal in our medical education.
PMCID: PMC3430169  PMID: 23008682
Undergraduate; medical education; Arabization; Saudi Arabia
8.  VIEWS OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS ON OBJECTIVE STRUCTURED CLINICAL EXAMINATION IN NEUROLOGY: A PRELIMINARY REPORT 
Objective:
Obtain the undergraduate medical students’ evaluation of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) formed by two stations in neurology.
Methods:
The fifth-year medical students taking the neurology course at King Faisal University during the first rotation of academic year 1420-1421H (2000-2001G) made the evaluation. The time for each station was seven minutes. After finishing the examination, each student completed a six-item questionnaire on coverage, question clarity, time, patients, educational usefulness and organization of the examination with yes, no or don’t know responses.
Results:
A total of 48 students (30 males and 18 females) took the examination. The average time to complete the examination for a group of 16 students was 2 hours. The responses were positive for clarity of questions and organization of the examination 41(85%), and allotted time 36(75%). Thirty-two students (67%) found the structured examination a useful educational experience. About half the students expressed their concern about the coverage of taught material and the number of patients seen in the examination as representative of those seen during the course, and 11 students (23%) requested more time.
Conclusions:
The students’ response to the use of the structured clinical examination as an objective tool for evaluation of clinical skills in neurology was favorable and comparable to reports from other parts of the world. Improvement is required in the number of patients, coverage and allotted time to optimize outcome by improving content validity and reducing stress on participating patients.
PMCID: PMC3439748  PMID: 23008655
Neurology; undergraduate; medical education; OSCE; Saudi Arabia
9.  PATTERN OF HBsAg POSITIVITY IN SELECTED GROUPS AT KING KHALID GENERAL HOSPITAL - HAIL REGION, KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA 
Background:
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is endemic in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The acquisition of infection occurs early in life. The availability of safe and efficacious vaccines has led to the feasibility of an effective control of HBV infection. This study compares the pattern of HBsAg positivity among selected groups of patients with similar groups in other regions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Objectives:
This study is conducted to determine the prevalence of HBsAg positive subjects among selected groups of patients attending the main general hospital in the Hail region.
Subjects and Methods:
This retrospective study included 14029 subjects that were tested for HBsAg at King Khalid General Hospital, during the period from April 1994 to April 1996.
Results and Discussion:
The overall prevalence of HBsAg positive subjects was 3.5%. The prevalence for Saudis was about 3.2% for Saudis. Pakistanis had the highest prevalence of 11.8%. The prevalence was 3.02% for blood donors, and 2.1 % among pregnant women. No significant difference was found among different age groups. Hail region had a lower prevalence of HBsAg positive cases compared to that estimated by previous studies in the Kingdom, suggesting success in efforts applied by the Ministry of Health (110H) for prevention of Hepatitis B viral infection.
Conclusion:
We can conclude that the prevalence of HBsAg positive subjects is declining in the Hail region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). This decline suggests the success of preventive efforts such as vaccination of newborns with the HBsAg vaccine. However, screening of pregnant women for HBsAg scents to be necessary.
PMCID: PMC3437131  PMID: 23008563
Hepatitis; prevalence; prevention; viral

Results 1-9 (9)