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Ann Saudi Med. 2008 Jul-Aug;28(4):260-6.

Diabetes complications in 1952 type 2 diabetes mellitus patients managed in a single institution in Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



Because there is no recent update on the state of diabetes and its concomitant complications in Saudi Arabia, we undertook a study of the prevalence of health complications in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus admitted to our institution.


We conducted a retrospective review of medical records of adult Saudi patients with type 2 diabetes who were seen in clinics or admitted to the Security Forces Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, between January 1989 and January 2004.


Of 1952 patients, 943 (48.3%) were males. For the whole study population the mean age at enrollment was 58.4+/-14.2 years, the mean age at onset of diabetes was 48.1+/-12.8 years, the mean duration of diabetes was 10.4+/-7.5 years, and the mean duration of follow-up was 7.9+/-4.6 years. Nephropathy was the most prevalent complication, occurring in 626 patients (32.1%). Acute coronary syndrome occurred in 451 (23.1%), cataracts in 447 (22.9%), retinopathy in 326 (16.7%), and myocardial infarction in 279 (14.3%), Doubling of serum creatinine was seen in 250 (12.8%) and 79 (4.0%) went into dialysis. Hypertension was present in 1524 (78.1%) and dyslipidemia in 764 (39.1%). Overall mortality was 8.2%. Multiple complications were frequent. Males had higher prevalence of complications than females (P<.05). Mortality was significantly higher in males 92 (9.8%) than females 69 (6.8%) (P=.024). The prevalence of complications significantly increased with duration of diabetes and age (P<.05).


Among Saudis, the prevalence of concomitant diabetic complications is high, with cardiovascular and renal complications the most frequent. Many patients had multiple complications. Early and frequent screenings in the patients with type 2 diabetes are desirable to identify patients at high risk for concomitant complications and to prevent disabilities.

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